In June, Lee Daniels entered into a multi-year deal with 20th Century Fox Television, that would see him develop, write, direct and supervise new projects for the studio under his Lee Daniels Entertainment banner, while still remaining as an executive producer of "Empire."
As announced 2 months later, in August, the first project to be developed under the new agreement, titled "Star," will be set in Atlanta, and will follow 3 young women who are working to make names for themselves in the music business.
The proposed one-hour pilot will be written, directed and executive produced by Daniels, although details on story and characters were scant at the time of the original announcement, except for Fox sharing that the pilot will "showcase the allure and heartache of the cutthroat music scene, while also exploring cultural themes from a new perspective."
Skip ahead to today, with an report from Roger Friedman at Showbiz 411, that says Daniels is currently casting for a pilot that will feature 4 young women (and not 3, as was the case for project announced over the summer) who are aspiring pop stars. Friedman lists their names as Starr, Cotton, Alexandra, and Simone, adding that they’re all between 18 and 20 years old, and will be diverse: black, white, and mixed, with one of them being transgender.
Sorry actors, no casting information is provided; although I assume if you’re an actor worth your salt, you’re already aware of this and have access to all the necessary info.
Over the summer, Fox did acknowledged that there might be potential for an eventual "Empire" – "Star" crossover (of course), but emphasized that it was too early to definitely confirm anything. But given that both shows are set music business centered, and the immense success of "Empire," it would make sense.
Clearly Fox is hoping to replicate "Empire’s" success with "Star" – both having one key thing in common: Lee Daniels’ stamp.
Although I’ll say that, if it’s just another version of "Empire," in terms of how sudsy and gaudy it is, but with a different cast, it actually may prove to be to Fox’s detriment. Excess – as in too much of the same kind of thing – can be drag.
Keep in mind that Daniels has also said that a Cookie Lyon spin-off (which will focus on the character’s much younger days) is all-but certain, so I have to wonder if maybe this "Star" project just might be the Cookie spin-off.