FOX’s new drama, Star, from Empire co-creator Lee Daniels and The Whole Truth creator Tom Donaghy, follows a trio of ambitious young women as they hungrily strive for success in the cutthroat music industry. The young powerhouses portraying the wannabes are on the cusp of stardom, too; actresses Jude Demorest, Brittany O’Grady and Ryan Destiny will be household names before long, and will hopefully enjoy the crossover success of their Empire brethren, Jussie Smollett, Bryshere Y. Gray and Trai Byers.
The gritty drama boasts an unstoppable soundtrack, and the titular character, played by Demorest (a dynamo whose blond curls deserve an acting credit of their own), is a tough-as-nails woman whose foster-care upbringing has hardened her into someone singularly focused on leaving her tragic upbringing behind. She rescues her sister (O’Grady) from a fate worse than her own, and they join with a mysterious internet friend (Destiny), who is fleeing her own upbringing — the ivory tower of her aging rock-star father (guest star Lenny Kravitz) — to forge her own path. The girls head to Atlanta’s burgeoning music scene, and crash with the sisters’ godmother — a church-singing beautician (Queen Latifah), who was once on the cusp of music success herself — and find a shady manager (Benjamin Bratt), who sees the girl group as his way back into the music business. A special note of praise to the series and to FOX for casting actor Amiyah Scott as Cotton, a role that — in my estimation — is the first time that network TV has depicted a transgender actor as a series regular.
When the series has a single-episode preview in December, it’ll be hard not to expect the same polish as Daniels’ smash, Empire. But this new saga is dirtier and hungrier, and instead of the high harmony of those with success who are desperate to keep it, Star has the ravenously sexy energy of hustlers who will stop at nothing to get to the top.
Star > FOX > Wednesdays beginning Jan. 4 at 9pm ET/PT, special preview Dec. 14