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‘Empire’ Boss Ilene Chaiken Re-Ups With 20th Century Fox Television

Variety logo Variety 7/6/2017 Elizabeth Wagmeister
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Empire” showrunner Ilene Chaiken has re-upped her overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television, Variety has learned.

Under the new multi-year deal, Chaiken will continue her duties at the helm of “Empire” and will also develop new projects for the studio.

Terms of the new deal were not disclosed. Chaiken last signed with 20th Century Fox TV in 2015, just months after “Empire” debuted on Fox.

“Ilene has done an extraordinary job running ‘Empire,’ which is not only the number 1 drama on our air, but one of the most creatively ambitious and wildly entertaining series on any network,” commented Fox Television Group chairmen and CEOs, Dana Walden and Gary Newman. “She’s a talented writer who somehow manages to walk the tightrope of being both a great leader and a team player simultaneously.”

“Empire” is heading into its fourth season this fall. The family hip-hop drama, led by Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard, first premiered in early 2015 and quickly became the biggest hit on broadcast television in years, continuously growing its audience week-to-week in the first season. Despite a drop-off in the ratings over the years, “Empire” remains one of the top-rated shows on television. Season 3 averaged a 2.7 rating in adults 18-49 and 7.6 million viewers per episode. In delayed viewing, the show also remains strong, with the Season 3 finale alone growing 52% in the demo in Live+7. The series has also been nominated for Emmys, Grammys, and Golden Globes with Henson winning the best actress Globe in 2016.

Prior to taking the reins of “Empire,” Chaiken co-created Showtime’s “The L Word.” She also currently serves as an executive producer on Hulu’s critically acclaimed series “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Chaiken is repped by WME and 3Arts.

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