Summer television is about to get intense, thanks to the return of Starz’s original drama, “Power.”
Created and written by Courtney Kemp and executive produced by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, the hit show stars Omari Hardwick as James “Ghost” St. Patrick, a New York City nightclub owner who lives a double life as a drug kingpin.
Kemp says viewers should expect “more intense, more high octane”this season.
“I want people to be yelling at the screen,” Kemp told The Huffington Post. “We always go for that in our writer’s room. We’re always saying, ‘What are the oh shit moments?’ ‘What are the moments when people pause and go, ‘they did not just do that?’’ And that’s what we try to do more of this season.”
For Hardwick, leading the show as an African-American man was good not only for his career but also for the network.
“For Courtney [Kemp], Curtis [Jackson], and Starz ― which mostly is enclave with white faces ― for them to believe that the title character or title of ‘Power’ could be most imbued in a character that is painted by the actor, black, is massively important,” the 42-year-old actor told HuffPost in a Facebook live stream.
“It moves, not only for my career as an actor and what I was interested in playing: dichotomous, duplicity range-filled characters that I felt could represent not only men, but I represent all colors of the black man spectrum. It was also equally important for Starz, Courtney and Curtis to be proponents of the conversation,” he said.
Even though Hardwick plays the lead, Kemp says the show’s characters weren’t written with a specific gender in mind.
“I don’t think of it as a male driven show, I think of it as a show that’s about identity and not letting your past dictate your future,” she said.
“The story that I’m telling is about a man, because at the time that I started the show I was writing about my dad and I was writing about 50 [Cent], and so that naturally lends itself to a male figure. But when people ask me about the show in that way, I always say, ‘it can’t be a male driven show, cause I’m the one driving it.’”
Last summer, “Power” became Starz’s most popular show on record when its season finale drew 4.42 million viewers and netted an average 6.5 million viewers per episode across all of the network’s viewing platforms.
“Power”, which also stars Naturi Naughton, Lala Anthony, Joe Sikora and Lela Loren, returns July 17 and airs Sundays on Starz at 9pm ET/PT.