Yesterday, Empire creator Lee Daniels dropped the best news since the announcement on the show that Jamal was taking over Empire Entertainment: Specifically, during a Television Critics Association panel, Daniels said that he plans on developing an Empire spinoff about Cookie Lyon! This is exciting news, because, like actual cookies — but not actual lions — the more Cookie, the better.
Cookie was the breakout character of Empire's first season, and was the only actor on the show to be nominated for an Emmy. Taraji P. Henson is finally beginning to receive the attention she deserves in Hollywood, and has been doing everything from hosting Saturday Night Live to using her fame as a force for good in Hollywood.
But, what will the possible series follow, plot-wise? According to TV Line, "Following the panel, Daniels elaborated that the spin-off would be a quasi-prequel that delves into Cookie’s upbringing in North Philadelphia." Cookie is such a rich character, that a series delving into any period in her life would be fascinating. Perhaps it will begin with her upbringing, but advance through her young adulthood and her and Lucious' courtship? At the very least, this will make for a perfect compliment to Empire, because Empire is only in Season 2, and we all know that it is going to last for a long while.
Here are questions about Cookie's backstory that I would love to see on the possible new show (or, at the very least, in a flashback on Empire):
Daniels himself said during the TCA panel, "OK, here [Cookie] is now. How did she get to where she's at right now? Let's go back and understand her mother. Let's go back and understand her sisters. Let's get back and understand the makings of her. That I know, because I know Cookie... It would be like a prequel."
Imagine the drama of Cookie's upbringing and the people around her, PLUS a stylized version of the '70s. A throwback series to a pre-Empire, pre-iPad era sounds amazing.
Cookie In High School
Like The Carrie Diaries, but The Cookie Diaries! High school-set shows are inherently dramatic — but, imagine if Cookie was in your homeroom class. How dramatic would that be?! Personally, I'd love to know how she managed the mean girls, of if she was a mean girl herself.
Cookie's Family History
An interesting series could be centered around Cookie's mother, rather than Cookie herself. Was she involved in the music scene as well? How was she like Cookie? How was she different?
Cookie And Lucious' Courtship
Imagine a romantic comedy about Cookie and Lucious. Did she play hard to get? How did he win her over? How did they meet? While we all know that the relationship ultimately ends in divorce, it would be entertaining to see their former relationship bloom.
The Lyon Family's Early Days
Empire Entertainment is already a successful company on Empire — so it would be interesting to flash back to the years when Cookie and Lucious were building it from the ground up. We already know that it is rife with drama, because drug dealing was involved in order to secure funding. So, how did Cookie manage? How much did the kids know? This is certainly interesting enough for its own show.
Cookie's Years In Prison
Empire meets Orange is the New Black: now THAT is a winning formula. How did Cookie cope with being away from her children? How did she navigate the prison's social hierarchy? Did she climb to the top? How did someone with such stellar and iconic style manage wearing a uniform?
So, Mr. Daniels, I humbly request more Cookie on more TV shows. What can I say? You can never have too many cookies.
Images: FOX; Giphy (5)