The day before Empire premiered on Fox, Danny Strong, who co-created the blockbuster hit series with Lee Daniels, called his agent to ask about ratings. Fresh off the box-office success of The Butler, which he wrote, and critical accolades for his TV movies Game Change and Recount—which aired on HBO, where viewership is more of a novelty than a necessity—he was kind of clueless about the whole thing.
“I called and said, ‘So what’s good?’” he says, laughing hysterically at the silliness of the question now.
After all, Empire’s unprecedented ratings success has become the stuff of TV legend. The wildly popular, outlandishly bold, and irresistibly addictive soap opera about a hip-hop mogul and his epically flawed family was the first drama in 21 years to score higher ratings in each of its first three weeks. And then it kept growing for every single one of its nine episodes, all leading up to its hotly anticipated season finale airing Wednesday night.
Empire debuted in January to a 3.8 rating and a coronation by critics as the heir to Dynasty, a riveting and ridiculous primetime soap opera worthy of our infatuation. Last week’s episode drew a spectacular 5.8 rating and cemented its status as a bona fide pop culture phenomenon—one that deals with race and homosexuality in ways both nuanced and loud, and, for once, has people of all races and demographics watching at the same time.
Chris Jans has to do better.
Jans is out as head basketball coach at Bowling Green after video surfaced of a drunken Jans, slapping a woman on her buttocks in a bar.
Bowling Green fired coach Chris Jans after “an investigation into his recent public conduct,” the university said in a statement on Thursday. The university said “Jans’ public conduct failed to meet his obligations as a head coach.”
The video shot by a witness at a bar in downtown Bowling Green on March 21 clearly shows Jans, a married father of two, slapping a female patron on the behind.
The person who shot the video also provided a description of the rest of Jans’s behavior to Bowling Green athletics director Christopher Kingston.
My family and I were in downtown Bowling Green 3/21/15 at an establishment that is frequented by the Basketball coaches. While we were enjoying each others company we noticed on several occasions Chris Jans making what seemed to be advances towards several women. On one occasion he grabbed a woman’s head and pushed it downwards toward his crotch. A Single guy, drunk, we can possibly overlook, but certainly inappropriate for a Head Coach representing my university and most definitely not a married man with two children. I am certain she would not appreciate his behavior. As the night continued, we had hoped that the behavior was a fluke or a joke amongst friends ad we continued enjoying each others company until he made advances toward another female, petter her backside and proceeded to as/tell her to walk in front of him so that he could evaluate her assets. This was directly in front of our table and in front of my daughter who is a college athlete visiting her brother who attends BGSU on his birthday. She had witnessed the Coach throughout the evening, was disappointed and disgusted enough to actually confront him and tell him his behavior was not becoming of a head coach and she would be embarrassed if it were her coach. He denied being the coach and then after she continued he responded “ok”. She sat back with our table and we continued conversation hoping he would be mature enough to leave we enough alone, however minutes later he exclaimed loud enough to be heard over the loud music “bitch, com here.” Unfortunately, I was forced to confront him, however he was quickly covered by assistant coaches and staff. We left the establishment without further confrontation, but clearly he was sloppy drunk and not fitting of BGSU representation. I am emailing you to let you deal with this matter as you feel fit, however if need I have a video of him from the evening touching a woman’s backside validating our statements, and further video showing the melee’ that ensued after he called my daughter a “bitch”. We hope there will be no need have to divulge this video to social media for the sake of the university, but from our understanding from other patrons we have spoken to, this behavior has been consistent at this establishment. We expect you handle this matter in a fitting way that will ensure this behavior is never repeated.
I look forward to hearing how this will be addressed.