Starz revealed the first spinoff to its hit series “Power” on Friday, revealing on stage at the Television Critics Association press tour that Mary J. Blige has signed on to star in “Power Book II: Ghost.”
“We have alluded previously to various spin-offs, prequels and other expansions of the ‘Power’ Universe,” series creator Courtney A. Kemp said on stage during the show’s panel. “Today we are pleased to announce that we are in pre-production on the first of what we know will be a collection of series inspired by the dynamic world of ‘Power.'”
According to Kemp, the follow-up will “continue the journey of some of ‘Power’s’ most controversial characters” in addition to introducing new characters, including the one played by Blige.
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“And no, this is not the Ghost in question, although we talked about it,” she said, referencing the character played by Omari Hardwick in the flagship series.
Blige’s casting also provides something of a fun meta-twist for the “Powers” universe. In the very first episode of “Powers,” when James “Ghost” St. Patrick (Hardwick) and Angela Valdes (Lela Loren) begin having the affair that wrecks both of their lives, they start by reminiscing about their high school romance while listening to Blige’s 1992 classic “Real Love.” Though we’ll assume of course that Blige won’t be playing herself.
The spinoff falls under Kemp’s overall deal with Lionsgate to develop and produce content for the studio through her End of Episode banner — including multiple potential “Power” spinoffs — which she signed last fall. Jackson also signed a four-year overall deal with Starz last year which included a three-series commitment.
The announcement comes as “Power” heads into its sixth and final season at Starz. The pay cable channel revealed on Friday that the 15-episode final season would air in two parts, with the first 10 episodes to air starting next month and the final five beginning in January.