Queen Latifah to star in Lee Daniels’ drama pilot

FILE - In this Nov. 15, 2015 file photo, Queen Latifah attends the VH1 Big In 2015 with Entertainment Weekly Award Show held at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, Calif. Queen Latifah is starring in a new drama pilot from filmmaker Lee Daniels, the co-creator of Fox TV’s “Empire.” The untitled Fox pilot is about three young women trying to make it in the music industry. Latifah plays Carlotta, a beauty salon owner who becomes a surrogate mom to the trio, the network said Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. (Photo by John Salangsang/Invision/AP, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Queen Latifah is starring in a new drama pilot from filmmaker Lee Daniels, the co-creator of Fox TV’s “Empire.”

The untitled Fox pilot is about three young women trying to make it in the music industry. Latifah plays Carlotta, a beauty salon owner who becomes a surrogate mom to the trio, the network said.

After open auditions, three newcomers were cast as the aspiring singers: Jude Demorest and Ryan Destiny, both from Detroit, Michigan, and Brittany O’Grady from Washington, D.C.

Musician-actress Latifah starred in NBC’s live production of “The Wiz” last week and played the famed blues singer Bessie Smith in the Emmy-winning HBO movie, “Bessie.”

The pilot, which could be the basis for a series, begins production this month in Atlanta.

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