This is Black Girl Magic at its finest. Power creator, writer and producer Courtney A. Kemp has just inked a multi-year creative deal with Netflix. The 44-year-old showrunner has been tapped by the streaming giant to develop a number of projects that will be steered by her “End of Episode” production company. Variety notes that the exciting new partnership “enables Kemp’s End of Episode to expand its global footprint while focusing on putting the spotlight on stories from women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ creators.”
Kemp who has previously written for shows such as The Good Wife and Beauty & the Beast, released a statement about her excitement for the new partnership.
“I am incredibly excited to join the Netflix family, and to continue to develop the kind of entertainment that End of Episode is known for — diverse, multilingual, watercooler, social-media fueled series that pack a serious punch,” Kemp shared. “I am looking forward to working with Bela and her team.”
The Columbia University alum received her big break into the TV industry when she penned a spec script for The Bernie Mac Show in 2015, and the rest was history. Kemp went on to write for a number of different television series including CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Happy Town, and In Justice. Eventually, the industry change-maker would write and pitch her very own show years later.
Kemp teamed up with 50 Cent and film producer Mark Canton at a coffeehouse in Los Angeles where the trio wrote out the entire script for what we now know as Starz’s popular crime drama series Power.
During an interview with Drama Quarterly, Kemp recalled the moment she pitched the idea for the show to a group of big wigs in Hollywood. While her partner in crime 50 Cent stood beside her, it was Kemp who took the reigns in presenting their idea for what would become her biggest project yet.
“It was me and 50 and a ton of people, but I was the only one talking, so it was quite scary,” she confessed. “I don’t read a pitch; I only go in with cards with a few keywords on them. It’s a performance. You get passionate and excited about it and tell them the story. At the second meeting, 50 brought music so as I was pitching he was playing tracks from the show.”
Power aired on the Starz network from June 7, 2014, to February 9, 2020, and received critical acclaim. Since dominating television screens worldwide, the series has spawned several spin-offs including Power Book II: Ghost which premiered on September 6, 2020, and more recently Power Book III: Raising Kanan which made its debut back in July. The busy show exec told The New York Times that she has 50 Cent to thank for developing one of the show’s leading characters.
“He really helped me build Ghost,” she revealed in a 2014 interview. “Because I am not actually a super-rich, urban human. I’m kind of middle of the road.”
Bela Bajaria, Netflix’s head of global TV called Courtney “the real deal” and expressed in a statement that she admires the former English literature major for her “clarity of vision and voice.”
“Courtney has accomplished something really rare and extraordinary in television and we are thrilled to welcome her to Netflix,” she added.
Congrats to Courtney Kemp!