Who shot Ghost? On January 5th, millions of viewers tuned into STARZ's Power to find out the answer to that very question – and there's no one more nervous about that answer than the cable network itself.
Because the answer to that deadly riddle makes up the focus of the final episodes, shuffling off STARZ's programming "mortal coil" after six seasons. Created by Courtney A. Kemp and executive produced by Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, the urban crime drama has been a ratings juggernaut for the cabler: driving strong number when it comes to both "in moment" and delayed viewing, and a diverse viewer demographic that other cable networks and streamers envy.
"There are some people from the original show as well as a bunch of new characters. It will definitely have a lot of the same elements that you're used to from Power in terms of criminality, sex, romance, and the legal system. Every scene is still about power."
– Courtney Kemp
But now that the show's ending its run for good February 9, STARZ will have to hope that Power eyeballs are so invested in the show's universe that they would be willing to find their way spinoff pseudo-sequel series Power Book II: Ghost, taking place after the main series' finale and starring Mary J. Blige.
Last week, we learned that Grammy-winning rap artist and Wu-Tang Clan member Method Man (The Wire, The Good Wife) was also set to join the cast. Method Man plays David MacClean, a brilliant, ethically challenged lawyer with more than a few secrets of his own. MacClean is drawn into the world of Power on a number of levels – a world riddled with murder and drugs, where the only thing he's really addicted to is winning.
Now, the fine folks at EW have some more information to offer on the Summer 2020 series as well as an exclusive image, thanks to executive producer Kemp. Here's a look at Blige's successful business woman Monet, who appears to be in the middle of a serious conversation with (and giving a stern glare to) daughter Diana (LaToya Tonodeo).
For Kemp, the difference between Ghost (Omari Hardwick) and Monet isn't simply gender – it's about upbringing and how that impacted their respective quests for power:
"Power obviously is a masculine show but has very strong female characters. For Mary's character, we use all the power and presence of the actress to communicate how this is a woman who is remarkable and unique in her abilities. She's as smart, savvy, and strategic as Ghost ever was, but her learning doesn't come from books. We always said Ghost was a bookish kid who read all the time. This woman's acumen comes from the street."
From our perspective, we're cautious yet hopeful. Television lore tells tales of successful series that died slow, paniful deaths via their spinoffs. Big factor in all of this is how quickly a new Power series can make it to air – a Summer 2020 debut would be perfect timing, so today's news is welcome relief. If even one of these series is a hit? STARZ will be taking some much-needed victory laps – and considering the beating they've been taking lately over American Gods, they could use some good press.