Taraji P. Henson’s ‘Empire’ Debuts Strong


After having her character Joss Carter be unceremoniously killed off on the third season of “Person of Interest,” actress Tarji P. Henson appears to have bounced back quite nicely via her starring role in Fox’s hip-hop drama “Empire,” which debuted last night to some pretty spectacular numbers.

According to published reports, the pilot episode of “Empire” delivered 9.8 million viewers and a 3.8 rating among the 18-49 crowd, numbers that almost assure the show will more than likely see a second season, especially since it is Fox’s highest rated debut since 2012’s “Touch.”

“Empire” outperformed its “American Idol” lead-in in demographics and retained its rating throughout the hour- meaning people did not eventually tune out. It also bested its “Modern Family” competition and outperformed this season’s much-hyped premiere of “Gotham.” “Empire” also managed to tie “How to Get Away with Murder” as the highest-rated show this season.

This is good news for Fox, which has so far had to cancel three of its new shows, including “Red Band Society,” “Gracepoint” and “Mulaney.”

I got to preview “Empire’s” pilot episode a few weeks back and though it is not my taste, I am happy Taraji finds herself with a certified hit on her hands. I am not happy about the show’s portrayal of Taraji however, just as I wasn’t pleased with “Power’s” portrayal of Naturi Naughton’s character Tasha St. Patrick.

Given both shows are heavily hip-hop based, I can’t say I’m surprised by the ridiculous negativity of the show’s lead black females. Thus, though kudos to Taraji, I won’t personally be tuning in to see this show… ever.


  1. I haven’t watched this show nor will I (I think). To judge a book by it’s cover, its offensive. I’m happy for the stars (Tarjai and the like)….

    The show reminds me of Power, which became typical. Drugs, sex, violence, black guy leaves black girl for white girl. The End

    I’ll stick with Scandal, HTGAWM, Sleepy Hollow, Gotham, etc…

  2. I got to preview “Empire’s” pilot episode a few weeks back…

    I didn’t judge it prematurely or based on looks alone. I watched the pilot weeks before it aired on live TV.


  3. I watched most of the premiere. I didn’t particularly like the editing in some parts but I get that it’s a one-hour show and they had to squeeze in a bunch of expository backstory into it. I’ll give it another perusal next episode. I don’t hate it but I don’t love it, however I DO love that it debuted with great ratings.

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