I’ve never watched an episode of Game of Thrones, yet I know who the main actors in it are.
Game of Thrones strikes me as a much more famous show. I’m not sure it’s a good comparison.
I’ve never seen an episode of Empire, and I could tell you that Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson are in it. But that’s it. Looking at the cast list, there are several more names I recognize, but I had no idea they were on the show. Smollett’s name was not one I was familiar with before this incident, nor would I have recognized his face, despite apparently seeing him in Alien: Covenant.