‘Power’ Creator and Exec Producers Have Made Peace With Emmy Snubs

A ratings juggernaut for Starz since its premiere, the series' success in drawing eyeballs has failed to translate to awards recognition.

A ratings hit for Starz since its premiere in 2014, “Power” has failed to draw the same kind of attention during awards season; specifically, the series has never been nominated in any category for any of the industry’s top awards, including the Emmys, SAG Awards, and Golden Globes. And while certainly desirous of the recognition, creator/showrunner Courtney A. Kemp and executive producer Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson have grown increasingly apathetic.

“For the first couple of years, it was disappointing, because I felt we were doing something new and fresh, and I was hoping that the Emmy voters would take notice, and they didn’t,” said Kemp when asked to address the matter at the 2019 Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills, California. She added that she then made peace with being perpetually snubbed.

The series, which has averaged an 80% Rotten Tomatoes score over its first five seasons, has been a consistent NAACP Image Award winner, which, for Kemp, meant that its core audience loves and respects the show – which is ultimately what matters to her.

She also credited timing as a reason for the lack of key award nods. “What I’ll say is that we were pioneers, and had we premiered maybe two or three years later, things might have been a little different,” Kemp said. “But it took a while for people in the mainstream to notice us, and we may have just missed the sweet spot.”

“I think it’s racial,” Jackson said, although in jest, adding that he’s become used to being snubbed, not just for his TV series, but throughout his music career as well.

“Awards shows are always late to my projects,” said Jackson. “I feel like I’ll get a lifetime achievement award instead of an actual award when you are supposed to. This drama features the same content I use in my music. I didn’t receive the Grammy for Best New Artist after I debuted the largest hip hop album. I’ll just continue to make the numbers so high, they’ll be looking around and say, ‘Hey, we fucked up again.’”

Ultimately, Jackson, seemingly resigned on the issue like Kemp, believes that voters – who he referred to as “not necessarily cool people” – are simply “overlooking” the series. And rather than dwell on the matter, he is instead focusing on what comes next. “We are far from over and I am excited to bring you more from the ‘Power’ brand,” Jackson said.

He was referring to an announcement made during the TCA presentation that songstress-turned-actress Mary J. Blige is joining the cast of the first “Power” sequel, “Power Book II: Ghost.” Currently in pre-production, plot details are forthcoming.

The upcoming sixth season of the series will be its last. However, the “Power” narrative will live on in spin-offs like these that will be part of what Carmi Zlotnik, President of Programming, referred to as the “Power cinematic universe.”

Speaking to what audiences can expect from this next phase, Kemp said: “We will follow some of your beloved ‘Power’ characters beyond the scope of the initial series, but we will play with your expectations of which characters, where, and the master timeline of it all, creating a ‘Power’ universe as unpredictable as the original.”

Additionally Starz also will air “Power Confidential,” an aftershow that will air immediately following the premiere of each new episode of “Power,” highlighting the most memorable moments from that week’s episode and providing exclusive behind-the-scenes insights.

“Power” Season 6 – subtitled “The Final Betrayal” – picks up with James “Ghost” St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick) seeking vengeance for the ultimate betrayal by those he once called his family. Ghost aims to get even with Tommy (Joseph Sikora), consecrate the legacy of his murdered daughter Raina (Donshea Hopkins), and finally live a legitimate lifestyle with no criminal strings attached.

To be broadcast in two parts, the 10-episode Part I of Season 6 will debut on Sunday, August 25th. Part II, which will consist of the final five episodes, will debut in January.

Season 6 will feature the directorial debut of Jackson, and will see the return of director Anthony Hemingway, who helmed the first two episodes of the series when it debuted in 2014, to take the reins for the finale.

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