‘Empire’ Finale: Co-Creator Danny Strong On “Cliffhanger” Ending, Teases Season 2, BlackLivesMatter & Secret Of Success

Deadline

SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of tonight’s Empire Season 1 finale on Fox.

After a freshman season that saw Fox’s hip-hop family drama Empire break all the recent rules of television and jump up week after week in viewership since its January 7 debut, the Lee Daniels- and Danny Strong-created series had its two-hour season finale tonight. Daniels, Strong, showrunner Ilene Chaiken and fellow EP Brian Grazer packed a lot into those 120 minutes as some of this season’s issues of race, sexuality, succession, betrayal and class came to a soapy climax.

With endings both literal and figurative and new beginnings, two overriding plotlines were resolved, with Terrence Howard’s empire logoLucious Lyon discovering he wasn’t actually dying of ALS and middle son Jamal, played by Jussie Smollett, anointed heir to the empire over his two seething brothers Andre and Hakeem, played by Trai Byers and Bryshere Y. Gray. With Mario Van Peebles directing the…

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