Key members of the team behind FOX’s runaway hit series EMPIRE will appear at NAB Show next month in Las Vegas. Fox Television Group Chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman, EMPIRE showrunner Ilene Chaiken and actor and musician Bryshere “Yazz” Gray from the show will participate in the general session “EMPIRE: Inside the Mega-hit Broadcast Series” which will be moderated by Michael Schneider, executive editor at IndieWire and editor-at-large at Variety. The session, which is open to all attendees, is scheduled for Tuesday, April 19th at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
“EMPIRE embodies the best of what broadcast programming has to offer – larger-than-life characters, rich story and a wide reach to a national audience”
“EMPIRE embodies the best of what broadcast programming has to offer – larger-than-life characters, rich story and a wide reach to a national audience,” said Chris Brown, NAB executive vice president, Conventions and Business Operations. “We’re delighted to showcase and explore the success of FOX’s EMPIRE at NAB Show – the series has made an unforgettable mark on broadcast television, and we’re excited to hear from the folks behind it.”
In today’s “golden age” of television, it is increasingly difficult to create a show that resonates across audience demographics and keeps viewers coming back for more. During this dynamic session, attendees will hear how FOX successfully turned EMPIRE into a hit, as panelists ranging from programmers at the corporate level to the showrunner and talent, discuss how they brought the series’ characters to life.
EMPIRE, broadcast television’s No. 1 series, returns for its spring premiere Wednesday, March 30 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. From Academy Award nominee Lee Daniels (“Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “Precious”), Emmy Award winner Danny Strong (“Game Change,” “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”) and Academy Award- and Emmy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer (“A Beautiful Mind,” “24”), the hit drama is about a family dynasty, set within a world of music, glamour, danger and power.
As Chairmen and CEOs of the Fox Television Group, Dana Walden and Gary Newman oversee the broadcast network Fox Broadcasting Company; award-winning studio 20th Century Fox Television; the industry’s largest provider of content for cable, Fox 21 Television Studios; the licensing division, Fox Consumer Products; and the leading syndication supplier of off-network and first-run programming, Twentieth Television.
EMPIRE showrunner Ilene Chaiken recently signed a multi-year producing deal with 20th Century Fox Television. Chaiken created and executive-produced “The L Word” for Showtime, and additionally produced “The Real L Word” and “The Real L Word Mississippi,” which won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary.
An accomplished musician, Bryshere “Yazz” Gray plays “Hakeem Lyon” on EMPIRE. Gray has opened for rappers Fabolous and 2 Chainz and appeared on the Billboard Music Awards and “Good Morning America.”
Prior to his current role as Executive Editor at Indiewire and Editor-at-Large for Variety, Michael Schneider was the chief content officer at TV Guide Magazine, where he also helped launch the website TV Insider. Before TV Guide, Schneider served as TV editor for Variety and Daily Variety, a post he held from 1999 through 2011.
Schneider is also a regular contributor to Los Angeles public radio station KCRW, where he hosts "The Spin-Off," a podcast about the TV industry, and also appears on the Hollywood-focused radio program "The Business." As a television expert, Schneider has appeared on ABC "World News Tonight" and "Primetime Live," NBC's "Today" show and "Dateline NBC," CBS' "Early Show," "Access Hollywood," E! News Daily, CNN, MSNBC, NPR and many other programs and outlets.