Power is ending next year but there is more Power coming, with some very big star power.
Mary J. Blige will be headlining the first spinoff of the well watched series, executive producers Courtney Kemp and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson revealed today near the end of the TCA mega-panel for the Starz flagship series for “The Final Betrayal” sixth and final season.
“Today we are pleased to announce that we are in pre-production on the first of what we know will be a collection of series inspired by the dynamic world of Power, said Kemp dropping the news as the APA-repped Blige bound into the ballroom. Power Book II: Ghost will continue the journey of some of Power’s most controversial characters.”
“This is probably going to be the most exiting thing that will happen to me this year,” the multi-Grammy and Oscar nominee told the TCA audience in her surprise appearance. As the praise came fast, Mudbound star Blige was called the “queen of R&B, hip-hop, soul” by Power lead Omari Hardwick after she sat down with the panel. 50 Cent added that he told Blige “this will be the biggest thing ever, if you do it.”
“I’ve known so many Tashas, I’ve known so many Ghosts. I’ve dated so many Ghosts,” the 80 million album seller declared, name checking Hardwick and co-star Naturi Naughton’s Power characters. “I’m a huge fan for life, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it.”
While the plan for a number of planned spinoffs was first exclusively revealed by Deadline last October when Kemp inked a lucrative new overall deal with Starz’s parent company Lionsgate and elaborated on back in May when the final season was announced, today’s news of Blige and pre-production on the new series is the first solid indication of what those new Power shows would actually be.
Not that there isn’t a lot of road still to get there and set the first spinoff up.
“Our season finale is probably the biggest swing of my writing life,” Kemp told the crowd of the 15-episode supersized final season. Kicking off with a Madison Square Garden premiere five days before the Season 6 debut on Starz, the last season will play in two parts it was revealed today, with the last five episodes airing in early 2020.
Potential WGA board member Kemp teased the spinoff details both earlier on stage with Jackson and on social media on Friday:
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When you didn’t sleep last night, had glam at 5am to get in the car at 8:30 to do your first interview at 9 and it’s almost 2 and you haven’t done your panel yet where you’re making the biggest announcement of the #poweruniverse to date… and all the superhuman talent of @johnnywright220 and @autumnmoultriebeauty can’t totally mask the fatigue and or hide the gratitude. Styling @christinajpacelli
EPs Kemp and Jackson and Hardwick were joined on-stage at the Beverly Hilton by cast members Lela Loren (Angela Valdes), Joseph Sikora (Tommy Eagan), Naturi Naughton (Tasha St. Patrick), La La Anthony (Lakeisha Grant) Rotimi (Andre “Dre” Coleman), Michael Rainey, Jr. (Tariq St. Patrick) and Larenz Tate (Councilman Rashad Tate)
Turning on his drug lord father last season, Rainey’s Tariq has now led to the actor getting hate mail from fans and being “banned” from their city, as he told the critics crowd this afternoon.
The response to that plot and others in the NYC crime drama is a testament to the reach of the show. A reach that Starz’s COO made a distinct point of noting earlier in the day at his executive session. “It really is the show that built the network besides Spartacus back in the day,” said Jeffrey Hirsch of the now multi-headed and very well watched Power.