When West Philadelphia's Lee Daniels chose a collaborator for his new Fox drama Star, the Empire co-creator went local.
Tom Donaghy, who co-created the show with Daniels and co-wrote the pilot that premieres at 9 p.m. Wednesday after the midseason finale, is from Drexel Hill. A 1981 graduate of Upper Darby High School, he's a playwright who got his start in theater at Upper Darby Summer Stage and whose previous TV experience includes The Whole Truth, a legal drama starring Maura Tierney and Rob Morrow that he created that aired briefly on ABC in 2010.
In an interview last month, I asked Daniels, who co-created Empire with actor and screenwriter Danny Strong, about why he'd wanted to work with each of them.
"Danny has an obsession with history, and that was where we connected. And Tom has an obsession with fantasy," Daniels said.
There are moments in the not-so-subtle Star, including a breakout dance in strip club. From my review of the show:
Star breaks out at least once an episode in a full-scale production number, but when it happens, I'm pretty sure it's a character's daydream. So don't be surprised when the strip club where Star first encounters a prospective talent manager named Jahil (Bratt) turns out to have the most elaborately choreographed number in go-go-dancer history.