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Gabourey Sidibe added to Lee Daniels TV pilot filming in Chicago

Gabourey Sidibe will join fellow Oscar nominated actors Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson in Lee Daniels' upcoming pilot for Fox, “Empire,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. The series will begin filming in Chicago this month but will be set in New York.

The Hollywood Reporter said Howard will play a street hustler-turned-record label head named Lucious Lyon (great name --very Max Power-esque). Lyon’s hip-hop label is about go public and he’ll do anything to protect his rap empire. Henson will play Lyon's ex-wife, Cookie Lyon, who has just been released from prison after serving 17 years for drug dealing. Sidibe will have a recurring role on the drama, playing Lucious's assistant.

"Empire" is currently casting extras to play radio executives, prisoners, security guards, clubbers, reporters (hmmm...), cocktail waiters and lawyers.

Daniels directed Sidibe in 2009's "Precious" and Howard in 2013's "The Butler." Danny Strong -- who wrote the screenplay for "The Butler" -- will write "Empire." Strong and Daniels will also executive produce the show with Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo.

lgomez@tribune.com | Twitter @TribLuis

For more celebrity news and sightings in Chicago, go to chicagotribune.com/luis.

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Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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