Star Scoop: An Empire State of Mind, ‘Classic’ Viola Davis, Birdman will Battle King Kong

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150108_Star Scoop

Fox may have found its next big thing. Empire, starring Hustle & Flow co-stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, debuted Wednesday night to impressive stats. It totaled 9.9 million viewers, beating out its American Idol lead-in, as well as new Fox dramas Red Band Society and Gotham. How good was it? Well, just ask Shonda Rhimes. [Vulture]

Dear New York TimesViola Davis isn’t done besting you yet. When she won the Favorite Actress in a New Series trophy at last night’s People’s Choice Awards, she not only thanked her fans, but also used the platform to shade NYT’s crass criticism (remember this?). Classy, eh? [Twitter]

Michael Keaton is hanging up his wings to battle it out with King Kong. The heavily-nominated Birdmanstar is in talks to join Universal’s Kong: Skull Island. The 3D epic will follow “a team of explorers who venture deep inside the primordial island that is King Kong’s home.” Sounds like the perfect, exotic getaway... or nah?! [Variety]

Grammy nominee Iggy Azaleahas been on the receiving end of lots of criticism lately, with claims of inauthenticity and appropriation clouding her success. She does have an ally in Kendrick Lamar, though. “She’s doing her thing,” he told Billboard about Azalea, who’s caught flack from rival Azealia BanksJ. ColeSnoop Lion, and Q Tip in recent months. “Let her. People have to go through trials and tribulations to get where they’re at. Do your thing, continue to rock it, because obviously God wants you here.” [Billboard]

Glee is bidding farewell to television for good, but not before one of Lea Michele’s best vocal performances yet. Watch her “Let it Go” in this preview, then set your DVR for Glee’s two-hour series finale on Friday, January 9. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Fargo is filling out. When season two of the crime dramedy rears its head, Ted Danson, Patrick Wilson and Jean Smartwill be signing on. They will join Kirsten DunstKieran Culkin, and Jesse Plemons as the anthology series flashes back to 1979 Sioux Falls. [Entertainment Weekly]