Epix has given a 10-episode straight-to-series order to crime drama Godfather of Harlem, with Forest Whitaker attached to star and executive produce. The series hails from Narcos creator Chris Brancato and Paul Eckstein, and ABC Signature Studios.
Written and executive produced by Brancato and Eckstein, Godfather of Harlem tells the true story of infamous crime boss Bumpy Johnson (Whitaker), who in the early 1960s returned from ten years in prison to find the neighborhood he once ruled in shambles. With the streets controlled by the Italian mob, Bumpy must take on the Genovese crime family to regain control. During the brutal battle, he forms an alliance with radical preacher Malcolm X – catching Malcolm’s political rise in the crosshairs of social upheaval and a mob war that threatens to tear the city apart.
Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi executive produce via Whitaker’s Significant Productions, along with Eckstein, James Acheson and Markuann Smith. Brancato will serve as showrunner.
Production is slated to begin later this year with an eye towards a 2019 premiere on Epix.
Whitaker is repped by WME and Brillstein Entertainment Partners. Brancato is repped by WME. Eckstein is repped by Rain Management Group and CAA.