The show Empire is doing very well. It’s doing better than that, actually. Not only is the high drama set within the world of hip-hop the highest rated show of the 2014-2015 season, it’s the only show that’s ever continued growing its audience for eight consecutive episodes. Some say the show owes its runaway success to targeting black viewers with laser precision. A new Saturday Night Live sketch, however, posits that the show could achieve its true potential by appealing to an apparently underserved demo for the show: white folks.
On Empire, Terrence Howard plays Lucious Lyon, an ex-drug slanger/current hip-hop svengali, and Taraji P. Henson is Cookie Lyon, Lucious’s expressive ex-wife and an ex-con to boot. In the phony SNL promo, though, the two are joined by episode host Chris Hemsworth, who is apparently playing Chip, an office manager at Empire, the record label for which Lucious is CEO. True to standard network-note style, the very white and affable Chip is awkwardly inserted into each scene of the show and says things like “Go Empire!” It’s an example of the kind of concession for white audiences that might have one time been a key ingredient to Empire‘s launch strategy, but now looks both antiquated and idiotic in the wake of the show’s success.
To echo Hemsworth’s Chip, “Go, Empire!”JB