'King Lear' meets 'Dynasty' in the hip-hop-fueled 'Empire'

January 7, 2015 1:56 PM

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"What is this? We 'King Lear' now?" asks Jamal Lyon (Jussie Smollett), the middle son of music tycoon and former recording star Luscious Lyon (Terrence Howard) in the opening episode of "Empire," a sparkly, sometimes-soulful new family-epic prime-time soap premiering Wednesday on Fox.

"And 'tis our fast intent/To shake all cares and business from our age,/Conferring them on younger strengths while we/Unburthen'd crawl toward death," Luscious has just said. Or words to that effect, indicating to his three sons that he will be passing on his kingdom in the perhaps not-too-distant f...

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