Long before Power became a megahit for Starz, 50 Cent and series creator Courtney Kemp struggled to get it on TV.
The crime drama, which was produced by Kemp and 50 Cent, premiered in 2014 and aired for six seasons.
But in an interview with Vulture released on June 8, the “Candy Shop” rapper revealed he heard “no” multiple times before premium cable channel Starz said “yes.”
“Initially, we launched Power to everyone and they succeeded,” he explained.
Asked to specify which networks have passed, he replied “all”.
Related story: 50 Cent signs deal to develop multiple shows for Fox after Starz exit
“We went through all the premium channels,” he added. “HBO, Showtime, Paramount, Hulu. We went to all those organizations early on. They probably had something else that looked like them, or that wasn’t what they were looking for. I’m sure now that they wish they hadn’t passed it on.
Despite being repeatedly rejected, 50 Cent and Kemp didn’t give up and decided to revamp their presentation.
“I had time to review the script and the project. When I was doing it, I recorded six songs because I knew the main character, Ghost, and his arc so well,” 50 Cent said. “And when we’d come back to restart the land, we’d play a minute and 30 seconds of a song, we’d stop, and Courtney would talk about a piece of the character. It’s so different from what they heard in n’ any other pitch because you don’t have someone as experienced or as good at music – exclusive music that fits the show.
Once they landed a TV deal, the hip-hop mogul said the money wasn’t huge.
“Look, I took a big pay cut,” he explained. “I gave them the theme song of Power. I gave them the things that hopefully connected in a different way for that. Do you see what I’m saying? All those things for $17,000 an episode? I get paid more to go to the nightclub and say hello. But I wanted to do the show.
Power was one of Lionsgate-owned Starz’s most-watched shows and spawned the spinoff Power Book II: Ghost, Power Book III: Raising KananAnd Book of Power IV: Strength.
But in September 2022, 50 Cent announced on social media that he would not be renewing his deal with Starz after repeated clashes. “I’m out,” he wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post.
Earlier this year, he signed a non-exclusive broadcast deal with Fox.
As part of the deal, 50 Cent and his G-Unit Film & Television will develop scripted dramas, live-action comedies and animated series to air on the Fox network.
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