Monday, April 15, 2024

TV: “Empire” Finally Getting a Knock Off Series, from Black Media Titan Radio One


What took so long? “Empire” is finally getting a knock off series. from black media titan Radio One’s Cathy Hughes.

Hughes is calling her series “Cathy Hughes Presents “Media”– a soap opera about a black family with a media empire called JUMP — Jones Universal Media Productions. (Hughes’ maiden name is Jones.) They have a family company called Intrigue (the knock off of “Empire”).

And true to “Empire,” there’s a matriarch, and a family member returning from a stint in jail “ready to take their place in the family company.” That son, Jabbar, will fight his brother for control of the company, etc.

This could be the story of the radio and TV stations where Lucious and Cookie Lyon get their music played and promoted.

Here’s my note: did we ever think that “Dallas” and “Dynasty” would become the Shakespeare of the 2010s?

Anyway, you know Cathy Hughes’s real story, and that of her son Alfred Liggins III, would make a better soap opera. She is totally self made, inventing the “Quiet Storm” format on R&B radio in the seventies, then creating Radio One, then TV One, and turning her son into a media mogul. If you’re not black, you know nothing about them. But these two are incredibly important figures in the media business. Radio One has $1.4 billion in assets.

“Cathy Hughes Presents Media” is produced by Sheila Ducksworth, Susan Banks, Kevin Arkadie, and Mitchell Galin. Craig Ross Jr. is directing the pilot, written by Kevin Arkadie.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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