Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Epix Orders 10 Episodes of Drama 'Godfather of Harlem' Starring Forest Whitaker

Epix has today given a series order to the original drama Godfather of Harlem starring Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland). The drama has been picked up for a 10-episode season.

The drama tells the true story of crime boss Bumpy Johnson (Whitaker) who in the early 1960s returned after 10 years in prison to find the neighborhood he once ruled in shambles. With the streets controlled by the Italian mob, he takes on the Genovese crime family to regain control. During the brutal battle, he forms an alliance with radical preacher Malcolm X - catching his political rise in the crosshairs of social upheaval and a mob war that threatens to tear the city apart. The series is a collision of the criminal underworld and the civil rights movement during one of the most tumultuous times in America history.

Chris Brancato and Paul Eckstein created the drama. They will executive produce with Whitaker, Nia Yang Bongiovi, James Acheson and Markuann Smith. ABC Signature will produce.

"We read the script, and met with Chris, Paul and Forest, and knew immediately that this show was perfect for Epix," said Michael Wright, President, Epix. "It's an exciting and relevant story, brought to life by passionate, extraordinary talent and a great studio in ABC Signature. It's exactly the kind of series we want to put on Epix as we build awareness and expand the network's distribution across the country."

"Godfather of Harlem is a show with powerful relevance to the issues we face today - gang violence, police brutality, opioid addiction and racial politics in a divided country," said Whitaker. "I'm grateful to have the opportunity to bring this character to life and to work with Michael Wright, the Epix team, and ABC Signature, alongside excellent writers and producers."