FOX has built the marketing campaign for the coming seasons of “Empire” and “Star” around the characters played by Taraji P. Henson (“Empire’s” Cookie Lyon) and Queen Latifah (“Star’s” Carlotta Brown). When the two shows return in September, they’ll cross paths.
The network is planning an “Empire”-“Star” crossover for Wednesday, Sept. 27. Latifah will appear on the Season 4 premiere of “Empire” at 8 p.m. ET/PT, where per a FOX release Carlotta encounters Cookie, Lucious (Terrence Howard) and Jamal (Jussie Smollett).
Smollett will then return the favor by appearing on “Star’s” second-season premiere at 9 p.m.
Details about how and why the characters come into contact are scant at the moment. On a night featuring at least seven season and series debuts, however — and maybe more; ABC hasn’t announced its full premiere schedule yet — a crossover might help give the two shows an extra promotional push.
“Empire” suffered sizable ratings declines last season — its same-day adults 18-49 ratings were off by 36 percent — but it was still FOX’s top-rated show by a wide margin and was the No. 1 drama on broadcast TV in same-day ratings. (“This Is Us” overtook it in the Live +7 ratings.) “Star,” meanwhile, was a top-5 show for FOX, but with half of “Empire’s” 18-49 rating (1.4 vs. 2.8).
Having “Empire” as a lead-in and the crossover should help “Star” some as it kicks off Season 2. Firmly establishing that the shows exist in the same world could also pave the way for future crossovers.
You can go here to see FOX’s full premiere schedule for the fall.