TV CLOSE-UP
THE LYONS ARE BACK: “EMPIRE” RETURNS ON FOX SEPT. 26
"THE LYONS STRIKE BACK WHEN "EMPIRE" RETURNS SEPT. 26 AT 8/7C ON FOX.
Compiled By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
N2Entertainment.net

The Golden Globe nominated drama “Empire” returns for its fifth season on FOX Sept 26 at 8/7c p.m.

The critically acclaimed TV show revolves around the powerful Lyons family dynasty and their media/hip-hop music company, Empire Entertainment.

At the end of Season Four, the Lyons lost Empire. However, Lucious (Terence Howard) and Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) finally found their way to each and said their “I do’s.”

This season promises to be explosive and will see the Lyons tested like never before as they seek to reclaim Empire and start from scratch. As their plans begin to take shape, they will be forced to learn—once again—that fame and fortune come with a hefty price tag.

“Empire” is as compelling, emotional and unpredictable as it ever was," said Michael Thorn, President, Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. "We are so proud of our amazing cast, led by Terrence (Howard) and Taraji, (Henson) who deliver powerful performances week after week. We'd also like to thank our tremendous creative team—Lee Daniels, Danny Strong, Brett Mahoney, Ilene Chaiken and Sanaa Hamri, whose inspired storytelling continues to create the unforgettable, jaw-dropping OMG.

"Empire" remains one of the top broadcast dramas among Adults 18-49. The show has garnered multiple Emmy Award and Golden Globe nominations.

For her role as "Cookie Lyon," Henson has received two Emmy nominations for “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series” and won the Golden Globe for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series-- Drama” in 2016.

The series and cast have been recognized at the NAACP Image Awards over the past several years through multiple nominations and wins, including “Outstanding Drama Series,” “Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series” and “Outstanding Actress in Drama Series.”

"Empire" also earned a Grammy Award nomination for “Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media.”

OTHER MAJOR TV NEWS:

ESPN FILMS "30 FOR 30" DOCUMENTARIES FEATURE NFL STAR JUNIOR SEAU ON SEPT. 20

The award-winning ESPN Films Group continues to produce some of the best sports storytelling content in the industry. Several new projects will debut over the next few months including “30 for 30” documentaries on former NFL star Junior Seau, the Mike Tyson/Buster Douglas fight and Deion Sanders.

"The Last Days of Knight" makes its television debut after premiering on ESPN+ in April. Additionally, a new “30 for 30” Short, "Sonic Break," will air in September, and “30 for 30 Podcasts” will return for its fourth season in October.

"30 for 30 remains one of ESPN's most vital and interesting content brands," said Connor Schell, ESPN executive vice president of content. "I am thrilled for its return this fall with so many compelling stories across ESPN's many platforms."

The “30 for 30” documentary, "Seau," directed by Kirby Bradley, recaptures the glory days of NFL great Junior Seau while foreshadowing a tragedy that would rock the league. The film will debut exclusively on Sept. 20, on ESPN+, the first-ever multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company's Direct-to-Consumer and International group and ESPN.

Seau was a legend long before he retired from the NFL-- surrounded by a passionate fan base, deep respect from his peers and a loving family, he experienced a unique sense of purpose that extended beyond the playing field. Despite appearing to have everything, his decision to end his own life at 43 remains both deeply disturbing and largely unexplained. This revealing account of the Hall of Famer's life and death seeks answers, exploring the remarkable path from an immigrant Samoan family to NFL stardom, and the many obstacles faced throughout two decades spent as an American football icon at the heart of a brutal and unforgiving game.

The next film in the “30 for 30” Shorts series is "Sonic Break," premiering Sept. 23, at 3 p.m. (ET/PT) on ESPN. The short, directed by Stevan Riley ("Listen to Me Marlon"), chronicles the unexpected fear and anxiety that Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner battled before attempting the impossible: jumping from a space capsule borne by a helium balloon into the frigid stratosphere 23 miles above the earth, and then traveling at a speed of 690 mph before parachuting safely to the ground.
"Sonic Break" will be available for streaming on ESPN+ beginning Oct. 14.

On Nov. 29, “30 for 30” documentary "The Last Days of Knight," directed by Robert Abbott, will make its television debut on ESPN, after it first premiered on ESPN+ in April with the launch of the service. "The Last Days of Knight" details the previously untold, behind-the-scenes story of CNN's investigation into why high school All-Americans were leaving the Indiana University men's basketball program under Coach Bob Knight and the fallout that ensued after the story broke.

“30 for 30” continues with "42 to 1" on Dec. 11, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) on ESPN. The film, co-directed by Ben Houser and Jeremy Schaap, chronicles one of the most famous upsets in sports history: Buster Douglas' shocking knockout of the then-undefeated Mike Tyson. Tyson was the most feared fighter of modern times.

Douglas, meanwhile, was dismissed as a 42 to 1 underdog. No one thought he had the heart required of a champion. But at the Tokyo Dome on February 11, 1990, Douglas came to fight. Defying opinion, he proved to everyone that there was greatness in him. This is a film about how Douglas pulled off a victory that changed the course of sports history, channeling the absolute best version of himself, if only for one fight, when it mattered most and no one thought it was possible.

Another new feature-length “30 for 30” documentary, set to premiere Jan. 31, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) on ESPN, takes a close look at an unbelievably eventful few days in the life of Deion Sanders, the two-sport athlete and NFL Hall of Famer whose love of the spotlight spawned the self-given nickname "Prime Time."

No event encapsulates Deion's limitless abilities and unparalleled conviction like the 24 hours in October of 1992, when Sanders sandwiched a pro football game between a pair of postseason baseball games in two different cities, located one-thousand miles apart. The yet-to be-titled film is directed by Ken Rodgers ("The Two Bills," "Four Falls of Buffalo") and produced by NFL Films.

Additionally, “30 for 30 Podcasts” will return for its fourth season on Oct. 16, with a new series of original audio documentaries. This fall's lineup will include stories on the making of Jose Canseco's controversial book, “Juiced,” Hideo Nomo and the arrival of Japanese baseball stars to the major leagues, the TV broadcast of the 2003 World Series of Poker, and a protest at the 1972 New York City Marathon.

"ESPN Films is full steam ahead on developing and producing high-quality sports stories--long and short and on all platforms," said Libby Geist, ESPN Films vice president and executive producer. "We are looking ahead to a busy few years with big projects, including feature-length documentaries, shorts, and podcasts. It's important to us that we keep pushing ourselves and create the best possible experience by letting our projects match the format that best serves the story."

ABOUT ESPN FILMS:

ESPN Films has been an industry leader in documentary filmmaking since its inception in March 2008, producing more than 100 documentaries that have showcased some of the most compelling stories in sports. The high quality of storytelling, highlighted by the Peabody and Emmy Award-winning “30 for 30” series and the Academy-Award winning documentary "O.J.: Made in America," has led to record viewership as well as multiple honors and critical acclaim.

Additional projects from ESPN Films over the years have included “30 for 30 Shorts,” “Nine for IX” and the “SEC Storied” series. The entire “30 for 30” library is available for streaming on ESPN+.

Editor’s Note: Information used in this report obtained from FOX and ESPN publicity departments.