Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
This undated image released by Starz shows Sinqua Walls, left, and Curtis Jackson, better known as 50 Cent, in a scene from "Power," premiering on June 7. “Power,” a gritty new drama executive produced by 50 Cent, chronicles both the underpinnings of a brutal drug trade life and the glamour of the clubs. (AP Photo/Starz)
Creator: Drug drama ‘Power’ has universal story

First Published May 29 2014 03:34 pm • Last Updated Jun 04 2014 03:11 pm

New York • "Power," a gritty new drama debuting this month on Starz, is executive produced by 50 Cent and chronicles the underpinnings of a brutal drug trade life and the glamour of the clubs.

But its creator, Courtney Kemp Agboh, balks when it’s described as urban entertainment. The Emmy-nominated producer, whose credits include "The Good Wife," sees the story as one that’s relatable to everyone, even suburban moms.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"In a real sense it’s a show about a universal question," she says. "Does your past dictate your future? Can you change who you are? … The show is really about a larger thing."

"Power," which premieres Saturday, June 7, stars Omari Hardwick as Ghost, a drug dealer who doubles as a successful nightclub owner to conceal his illegal trade. While it’s part gangster drama, it’s also a love story: The married Ghost is pining for a long-lost love who has made her return. He also seeks to shed his life of crime in hopes of finally becoming a legit businessman.

While the show is based in part by 50 Cent’s transformation from drug dealer to rap superstar, Agboh, who created the show with him, also used her late father as inspiration.

"My dad was an advertising guy, and he was very invested in the idea that perception is reality and that if you looked good, and you smelled good and you sounded good, that people would believe whatever you had to say and you were able to manipulate people’s opinions of you through image," she said. "As a black man he felt he got access to people and experiences as a result of dressing a certain way and sounding a certain way and having a certain educational background. … When my dad died, I felt like I really needed to write about him and write about his experiences."

The death of Agboh’s father in 2011 was a turning point for her. It was after he died that "Power" began to become a reality.

"This is the first show I ever pitched, the first show I ever sold, the first show I ever wrote for money," she said. "Things happened at once."

It’s another high point for Agboh, who started off as a magazine writer before leaping into television writing, then producing.

"I wanted to be the first black female editor in chief of Vogue magazine, and that totally didn’t work out," she said with a laugh.


story continues below
story continues below

As one of the few black women behind a TV series, there are obvious comparisons to Shonda Rimes, who with the success of shows like "Scandal" and "Grey’s Anatomy" has become one of the most powerful figures on television. But Agboh sees few similarities besides their race and gender, the significance of which she downplays.

"I don’t think it’s about the race or gender of the show runner, I think it’s about what’s compelling and what will bring people back," she said. "I’m grateful to Shonda if in fact her existence allows people to see me in a different way, but I don’t think that we do the same thing or should we be expected to."



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.