Showrunner Courtney Kemp on ‘Power’

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Power,’ the most popular show on Starz, is back for a fifth season. Omari Hardwick plays James St. Patrick, or “Ghost”--a powerful drug-dealer turned nightclub owner who can’t escape his past.

In the beginning of the series, Ghost tried to go legit with his club, but no surprise, that proved to be easier said than done.

As season 5 begins, the stakes are as high as they’ve ever been--season 4 saw Ghost going to jail for a time and then facing the violent death of a family member. Now Ghost’s wife, Tasha, played by Naturi Naughton is at a breaking point.

Power was created Courtney Kemp. She started for writing for television a decade ago, and worked with showrunners Robert and Michelle king on the ABC series ‘In Justice’ and CBS series ‘The Good Wife.’

When Kemp was ready to strike out on her own, her agent set up a meeting with the rapper 50 Cent. He’s a producer on ‘Power,’ and also plays one of the series’ antagonists, Kanan.

50 Cent has faced some recent online backlash for tasteless Instagram posts mocking actor Terry Crews, after Crews testified at a Senate hearing on sexual assault. Crews has been one of the few men to speak up during the #MeToo movement, sharing his own experience being assaulted by another man.

We taped our interview with Kemp before 50 Cent put up those posts, which he has since deleted. Kemp declined to comment.

When Kemp joined us in the studio, she told us about her childhood in Westport, Connecticut, a world away from the dark underbelly of New York she now explores in ‘Power.’

She also gets real about the challenges of being a parent and a showrunner, and talks about how ‘Power’ has reached the masses--it’s the most-watched show on premium cable after ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Shameless’--but doesn’t get the attention of “buzzier” shows with much smaller audiences.

Photo: Courtney Kemp, creator of 'Power.' Photo credit: Starz




Kim Masters


Kaitlin Parker