Television: Daniels, Spielberg heading for Fox
LOS ANGELES -- A family drama about a hip-hop business empire from filmmaker Lee Daniels and a coming-of-age series from Steven Spielberg will be part of Fox’s 2014-15 season, the network said Tuesday.
Daniels, the director of "Lee Daniels’ The Butler" and "Precious," is writing, directing and producing "Empire," starring Terence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, Fox said.
The series will feature original music and covers of current songs.
Spielberg is among the producers of "Red Band Society," with an ensemble cast starring Octavia Spencer. Fox described the series as an unconventional drama-comedy about teenagers that’s set in a hospital pediatric wing.
Fox also says it’s ordering a series that delves into the early career of future "Batman" police commissioner James Gordon.
Producer Warner Bros. Television said Monday that the show called "Gotham" also will include untold tales of DC Comics villains and introduce a new character, Fish Mooney.
Jada Pinkett Smith will star as Mooney, with Ben McKenzie playing Gordon during his years as a detective.
Other cast members include Donal Logue as detective Harvey Bullock and David Mazouz as young Bruce Wayne, the future Batman.
An air date hasn’t been announced, but a Warner Bros. spokesman says "Gotham" is planned for the 2014-15 season.
Meanwhile, NBC has announced a new sitcom for next season, "Marry Me," starring Casey Wilson and Ken Marino as two apparently star-crossed lovers, and two new political dramas.
Hope Davis and Scott Cohen star in "Allegiance," about a CIA analyst who learns his parents are former Russian agents being called back into service.
"State of Affairs" will star Alfre Woodard as U.S. president and Katherine Heigl as a CIA analyst who shares a tragic loss with her.
NBC also said it will air the drama "Odyssey," about strangers fighting an international conspiracy involving the military, corporate interests and Middle Eastern terrorists. Anna Friel and Peter Facinelli star.
The announcements preceded next week’s network fall schedule presentations to advertisers in New York.