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Eric Schmidt

Fox's 'Empire' is a game-changer for all involved

Fox's 'Empire' is a game-changer for all involved

With an audience of nearly 22 million for its March finale, Fox's "Empire" is a creature so rare that some thought it extinct: a bona fide network TV hit. But the show, which took center stage at Fox's presentation of its fall season to advertisers last month, came to that old-fashioned success in a very newfangled way, effectively combining cable innovation with broadcast muscle.

When co-creators Danny Strong and Lee Daniels were pitching the show in 2013, Strong recalls, "network television was getting hammered by cable." Even with ABC's "Scandal," one of the brightest spots in a dim firmament demonstrating the power of combining a multiracial cast...