This week, Fox's Empire premiered on Fox to 9.8 million total viewers. As TVline notes, it's the network’s highest-rated series launch in three years (since Touch), and broadcast TV’s No. 2 debut of the season (trailing ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder).That's a game changer. Not only because it's the first TV show from director Lee Daniels. Or because it involves black Oscar-caliber actors working in the network TV idiom. But, as Kelly Carter wrote on BuzzFeed, it means Being Gay and Black on TV will never be the same."
The Empire is a musical soap opera that focuses on Lucious (Terrence Howard) and his estranged ex-wife mother Cookie (Taraji P. Henson), and their three handsome sons: Andre (Trai Byers); Jamal (Jussie Smollett), and Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray).
The TV show is filled with drama, family issues, fights and witty one-liners that will keep you wanting more. The Empire also confronts hip-hop's homophobia and family fears of a family member being gay. Daniels wants to "normalize" gay romantic relationships and Jamal is a perfect boyfriend-type. We see him with his sexy Latino boyfriend in the first episode, and it appears we will see them grow as a couple.
As Smollett explained about his character: It's “not shoving anything down your throat. It’s not preaching, it’s not telling you the way that you should feel about a certain issue, but it is giving you options. Lee holds up the mirror to us as human beings.” Check out Smollett powerful and heart-felt song "Good Enough" of him longing to be accepted by his father.