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Showrunner Courtney Kemp Agboh’s Journey from Connecticut “Black Nerd” to 50 Cent Collaborator

Showrunner Courtney Kemp Agboh's Journey from Connecticut "Black Nerd" to 50 Cent Collaborator

The Starz drama Power, about a NYC drug kingpin and nightclub owner played by Omari Hardwick, will wrap up its inaugural eight-episode season this Saturday. Good news is that it has already been renewed for a second season. 

Last week, the NY Times ran a fascinating profile of Power executive producer Courtney Kemp Agboh, one of the few black female showrunners not named Shonda Rhimes. With an Emmy nomination for The Good Wife under her belt, Agboh successfully pitched her very first idea for a TV show, initially a vague idea to combine music, crime, drugs, and clubs later fleshed out by her personal interests and storytelling talent. Having grown up in suburban Connecticut and boasting degrees from two Ivy League universities, Agboh has a not-so-secret entry into the underworld that Power depicts: her fellow EP Curtis Jackson, also known as the rapper 50 Cent.

An important way that Power differs from other crime sagas like The WireThe Sopranos, and Boardwalk Empire is the love triangle at its center. Ghost, the empire builder played by Hardwick, is caught between his buy-happy wife Tasha (Naturi Naughton) and his righteous first love Angela (Lela Loren). “Part of the reason I wrote about Tasha is that I’m fascinated by the idea of women who make a man their job,” Agboh said. Angela, on the other hand, makes it her business to go after drug dealers as an assistant US attorney — a fact unknown to Ghost. 

In the well-worth-reading interview, Agboh also discusses how she and Jackson bonded over music, how “writers are, for the most part, crazy people,” and how the character of Ghost is based partly on Jackson and partly on her ad exec father.

[via NY Times]

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