Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson has become quite sure of two things:
1) His projects will succeed; and
2) He won’t get any top-tier awards or nominations for them.
From the moment he began producing the potent drama series “Power,” he says, he was confident. “I said it would run seven seasons.”
That was close. It now starts its sixth and final season … and will be followed by a spin-off with Mary J. Blige. It’s received some honors – the NAACP Image Awards named it the best drama series – but has had no nominations from the Emmys or the Golden Globes.
He’s used to that, 50 Cent said: “I didn’t receive the best-new-artist (award) when I had the largest debut on a hip hop album, and no one’s sold more records for a first album.”
There are theories on why he’s ignored, but he prefers this: Voters “are not necessarily cool people.”
Certainly, he won’t be in the running for the Nobel Peace Prize. “Power” is intense and well-crafted, but it’s about drug dealers who shoot their enemies and, of late, their friends.
Last season ended with lifelong friends at war. Tommy Egan tried to kill James “Ghost” St. Patrick.
“That did surprise me,” said Joseph Sikora. He plays Tommy and says the guy had become drained and bitter. “He was kind of the walking dead and he needed to dead Ghost.”
He failed; his shot hit Angela Valdes, who was once Ghost’s high school lover, then an assistant district attorney who risked everything when their romance rekindled. Viewers will now learn if she survived.
The show is full of frayed emotions and stark moments. Omari Hardwick says when “Power” creator Courtney Kemp cast him as Ghost, “she said, ‘I’m hiring you for your rage.’”
(Hardwick is shown in the center here, with Sikora at the far left and 50 Cent at the far right.)
To get into his character’s obsessive nature, Hardwick reread “Moby-Dick” and pondered other classics. “I already felt that the underpinnings were Shakespearean.”
The “Power” people represent opposite roots – college-educated and street-savvy.
Hardwick and Kemp grew up as black kids in mostly white schools. He was a lawyer’s son who went to Georgia (on a football scholarship), she was an advertising executive’s daughter who started reading Shakespeare at 10 and went to two Ivy League schools, Brown and Columbia.
50 Cent, by comparison, was selling drugs in Queens when he was 12. When Sikora (a graduate of Columbia College in Chicago) rattled off a six-syllable word, his boss jumped in: “I’m just concerned with being the only person that doesn’t know what ‘serendipitously’ means.”
Lots of people don’t know the word (which means a pleasant thing was found by accident), but 50 Cent has other things for consolation. He’s busy as an actor, a producer, a musician and, in this year’s third “Power” episode, a director. There will be time later to buy a dictionary.
— “Power,” 8 p.m. Sundays, Starz; season-opener, Aug. 25, reruns at 9:26 and 10:52.
— Leading into that, the five previous seasons rerun, starting 8 p.m. Friday (Aug. 23). The fifth season begins at 9:52 a.m. Sunday; its season-finale starts at 6:50 p.m.
— A follow-up show, “Power Confidential,” debuts at 9 p.m. and 10:26 p.m. Sunday.
— Season-opener reruns often: 1:54, 7:30 and 10:50 p.m. Monday; 1:26, 6:07 and 9:03 p.m. Tuesday; latenight Thursday (technically, 12:39 a.m. Friday); 3:36 p.m. Friday; 5:08 and 9:47 p.m. Saturday; 1:19 and 7:01 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1.
— Continues for 10 episodes this fall, then returns in January for its final five episodes.