TV Review: Fox’s ‘Empire'

Hollywood director Lee Daniels makes the move to television with Fox's Empire, a series he cocreated with writer Danny Strong. Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson star in the soapy drama, which centers around media mogul Lucious Lyon's (Howard) search for a successor among his sons for his hip hop dynasty. The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

“The premiere effectively uses flashbacks to putty in some of the family history, but almost every beat is so familiar the narrative can employ a kind of shorthand. That includes the music, which is plentiful, catchy, written by Timbaland, and as slick and derivative as everything else on display.” 
Brian Lowry,Variety

“Unlike a lot of similar shows, Empire is smart as well as entertaining and of course, as one would expect, has a great soundtrack.”
—Dominic Patten,Deadline

“Aspects like that omnipresent orchestral swell point to a direction where the suds start to overflow and Empire becomes a mess of soapy ridiculousness, rather than the controlled fun it is now. But the pilot, at least, leans on the tropes of inheritance stories that have come before, keeping the grandiose proclivities of its creator in check.”
Molly Eichel,A.V. Club

Empire is a big swing for Fox, and there are a number of question marks and stumbling blocks within it, but ultimately its entertainment level transcends the worries.”
—Tim Goodman,THR

“Despite the general lameness of the show, Ms. Henson is so convincing—and charismatic—you might just keep watching.”
John Anderson,WSJ