Parents' Guide to


By Kari Croop, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Musical melodrama explores family, fame, and homophobia.

TV Fox Drama 2015
Empire Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 14+
age 13+


Wonderful show that tackles homophobia very well. It is very good if you are a fan of hip hop.

This title has:

Great role models
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7):
Kids say (9):

When former-thug-turned-music-industry-exec Lucious Lyon tells his sons he'll be hand-picking one of them to take over when he's gone, his middle son Jamal asks, "What is this? We 'King Lear' now?" But if you're paying attention, that rhetorical question, said in passing, offers an important clue to the epic nature of Empire's intentions and the major themes the series aims to explore, among them power, greed, and sibling rivalry. It's certainly not the first time Shakespeare has inspired a mainstream television plot, but it might be the first time it's been applied to the world of hip-hop, and the results are both soapy and solidly entertaining.

Created by Oscar-nominated film director Lee Daniels (Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, Lee Daniels' The Butler), Empire shines equal light on the grit and glamour of hip-hop culture and simultaneously raises some provocative questions, particularly about homophobia in the black community and whether an openly gay African-American artist could ever be a mainstream success. But it also keeps things light with a strong original soundtrack by Timbaland that likely will appeal to older teens, and the great thing is, the content is largely OK for them.

TV Details

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