“When I got to Starz, there was very much this feeling like ‘go slower, be in The Sopranos model, be in the Six Feet Under model’” says Power creator Courtney A Kemp on the early days of the premium cabler drama “I was like faster, it has to be faster. It has to have more impact, higher stakes,” adds the former The Good Wife producer of the sensibility she wanted her nimble NYC-based series to have.
“I like to flirt with melodrama,” Kemp also told a full house at the DGA Theater at Deadline’s The Contenders Emmys all-day event on April 10.
Having debuted on Starz on June 7, 2014 and with themes of money, betrayal, love and aspiration, Power follows the route of James St. Patrick AKA “Ghost” as he tries to shift from being one of the Big Apple’s biggest drug dealers to going legit.
Co-starring Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, who is also an EP on the series, as a blast from Ghost’s past, Power started steady and grew week after week in the ratings. The show returned for a second season on June 6 last year that was not only the most watched Starz original series debut ever but up 209% in viewers from its Season 1 premiere. “We had a show that nobody knew about the first season and then the second season we kind of blew up,” showrunner Kemp bluntly stated last month. After a cliffhanger Season 2 finale last August, Power is back for a 10-episode third season in July.
Click on the video above to watch some of my conversation with the refreshingly forthright Kemp at the Contenders Emmys event last month – there’s a lot of power there.