How 'King Lear' Inspired 'Empire'

Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 69

You can find Shakespeare in all sorts of places, including the Fox TV series Empire. The story of an aging ruler – in this case the head of a hip-hop music dynasty – who sets his three children against each other … Sound familiar?

From its very beginning, Empire has fashioned itself on the plot of King Lear. And that's not the only Shakespeare connection to the program, as Ilene Chaiken, showrunner and executive producer for Empire, explains. She was interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.

From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series. Published March 22, 2017. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This episode, “The world in empire,” was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster and Esther Ferington. Esther French is the web producer. We had help from Jeff Peters at the Marketplace studios in Los Angeles.

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