One of the early victims of the entertainment industry being shut down by the coronavirus was Fox’s Empire, which was just ramping up for its series finale when everything stopped. The show was so close to the end that it didn’t really make sense for Fox to just delay the last episode until 2021, like how The CW pushed back enough Supernatural episodes to essentially give it another final half-season, which means Empire—one of Fox’s biggest hits of the last few years—just… ended. No finale, no real conclusion. Back in April, co-creator Danny Strong said that the last episode that aired (number 18 out of 20) would be “the last one our fans will see for a while,” but he added that he hoped they’d be able to do a movie or something at some point.
Now, according to Variety, plans for an Empire spin-off seem to be moving forward, opening the door for an opportunity to resolve lingering storylines. The potential project is coming as part of a development deal that Taraji P. Henson has with Fox, and it would focus on Henson’s Empire character Loretha “Cookie” Lyon (who was arguably the breakout character of Empire anyway). Variety says the show would be about “what’s next for Cookie,” which sounds a whole lot like something that could cover what would’ve happened in the finale. Then again, if Fox wanted to do that, it could just call this Empire 2 and pretend it was never canceled, which would be a little silly. Either way, a potential Empire return just got slightly more possible.