Fox’s Breakout Hit Empire Takes on Mental Illness

by Christine Anderson

Fox’s new drama, Empire, tells the rags-to-riches story of the Lyon family, whose patriarch, Lucious, played by Terrance Howard, rises to fame as a hip-hop artist, and starts a record label called Empire with drug money his ex-wife, Cookie (Taraji P. Henson), earned by dealing, for which she spent 17 years in prison. She left behind three children.