Fox to Premiere “Empire,” Featuring de la Fuente, in January

Rafael de la Fuente is expanding his Hollywood empire

Fox has announced plans to unveil its new drama series Empire, starring the 28-year-old Venezuelan actor and singer, on January 7, with limited commercial interruption, following the season premiere of American Idol.

Rafael de la Fuente

Empire centers on Lucious Lyon (portrayed by Terrence Howard), a charismatic music superstar who is about to take his company Empire Entertainment public. Taraij P. Henson stars as Lucious’ ex-wife Cookie, and she’s still looking for a share of his success.

de la Fuente portrays Michael Sanchez on the series, which also stars Gabourey Sidibe and guest stars Courtney Love. Timbaland will serve as the song producer and songwriter, creating new tunes for the show and curating old ones.

Idol will air Wednesday, January 7 from 8:00 – 9:00 pm ET and Thursday, January 8 from 8:00 -10:00 pm ET.

Empire will debut that Wednesday from 9:00 – 10:00 pm ET.

The drama hails from Lee Daniels, Danny Strong and Brian Grazer. Empire is from Imagine Television in association with 20th Century Fox Television.

de la Fuente’s other television credits include Every With Way, Grachi, Aurora and Mas sabe el diablo.

Roday Signs with ICM Partners

James Roday has new representation in Hollywood.

ICM Partners has signed the 38-year-old Mexican American actor and former Psych.

James Roday

Rodriguez is s best known for his eight-season turn playing the lead, fake psychic Shawn Spencer, on the USA crime dramedy created by Steve Franks, also an ICM client.

The show and Roday developed a big following on social media and also were a top draw at Comic-Con. In addition to starring, Roday wrote and directed several episodes of Psych. Following the end of the series earlier this year, he wrote and directed Shoot The Moon for USA and Psych producer Universal Cable Prods. through a development fund. The presentation will be delivered to USA for pickup consideration in the next few weeks.

Roday, who was at CAA, co-founded Red Dog Squadron, a Los Angeles theater company, and took over the El Centro theater on Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood in order to give actors the opportunity to realize stage passion projects as actors, writers and/or directors.

He also wrote and directed the indie Gravy, starring Lily Cole, Sarah Silverman, Dule Hill and Gabourey Sidibe.

Roday is managed by Gotham/Principal and also repped by law firm Peikoff Mahan.

Cruz In Talks to Star Opposite Sacha Baron Cohen in the Spy Comedy “Grimsby”

Penélope Cruz has reportedly spied her next big screen role…

The 40-year-old Spanish actress is reportedly in final negotiations to join Sacha Baron Cohen in Grimsby, Sony Pictures’ spy comedy.

Penelope Cruz

Directed by Louis Leterrier, the story centers on a James Bond-like character, portrayed by Mark Strong, who is forced to go into hiding in his hometown and team up with his English football hooligan brother, played by Baron Cohen.

The cast already includes Rebel Wilson, Ian McShane, Gabourey Sidibe and Annabelle Wallis, among others.

Much of the character information is being kept secret, but sources say Cruz will play a philanthropic corporate leader who may (or may not) be more than she seems.

Baron Cohen, Phil Johnston and Peter Baynham wrote the script.

The film is shooting this summer in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

Kid Cudi to Serve as Special Guest on E!’s “Chelsea Lately”

It’s an E!-xtra special assignment Kid Cudi

The 30-year-old part-Mexican American hip-hop artist and actor, who will star in the film version of HBO’s Entourage series, will be a special guest on Chelsea Handler’s E! late-night talk show Chelsea Lately when the comedian takes a short break this month.

Kid Cudi

On Tuesday, March 4, Oscar-nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe will serve as a fill-in host for Handler, with Kid Cudi, whose real name is Scott Mescudi, joining her as a special guest.

The following day on Wednesday, March 5, reality television star Khloe Kardashian will take over the reins, with guest Justin Willman.

Actress Mary McCormack, one of Handler’s dear friends, then guest hosts Thursday, March 6, with Mom star Allison Janney as the evening’s interviewee.

Chelsea Lately airs nightly on E! at 11:00 pm.

Roday to Direct the Dark Comedy “Gravy”

James Roday is psyched about his next project…

The 37-year-old Mexican-American actor, who currently stars on USA’s Psych, will direct the dark comedy film Gravy.

James Roday

Co-written by Roday and Todd Harthan, the film follows a group that descends on a Mexican cantina on Halloween with a taste for more than what is on the menu.

This isn’t Roday’s first time behind the camera. As well as starring on Psych, Roday has written and directed a number of episodes of for the long-running USA series.

Gravy, which has just started shooting in LA this week, stars Sarah Silverman, Michael Weston, Jimmi Simpson, Sutton Foster, Gabourey Sidibe, Paul Rodriguez, Gabriel Luna and Ethan Sandler.