The Runway – Your 2015 Pilot Survival Guide: Fox Dramas



Empire. Empire. Empire. Empire. Empire. Empire. Empire. Empire. Empire. Empire. Empire. Empire. Empire. Empire. Empire. Empire. Empire. Empire. Empire. Empire.  Empire. Empire. Empire. Empire. Empire. Empire. Empire. Empire. 
That is probably what goes through a typical Fox development exec’s head. How did we find Empire? How did we nurture it? How did we launch it successfully? How did we promote it? Etc.
In a world where maintaining a premiere Nielsen rating is a Chrismukkah miracle, Empire was somehow able to grow its audience week-to-week. That is literally unheard of in the modern television age. Which is why Empire — and understanding Empire — is so critical to the Drama department at Fox.
 The short answer to the show’s success would be Cookie, the breakout character played by Taraji P. Henson. But looking back at the pilot, there’s a lot to like in that script. You have the parallels to high-rated 80’s nighttime soaps, like Dynasty. You have the easily understood Shakespearean parallels, which co-writers Danny Strong and Lee Daniels aren’t afraid to nod towards. You have the dramatic question of which son will gain power. You have the unanswered backstory of uber-producer Lucious Lyon. You have the stellar musical numbers. And of course, you have the whirling dervish that is Cookie.
Fox probably won’t find another Empire in this year’s batch. They will have to find something though, because they need to replace Glee, Gracepoint and Backstrom. Let’s find out what is closest to capturing that Empire magic…

                   The Frankenstein Code     Lucifer    Minority Report    Rosewood      Studio City

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