STARZ Original Series “Power Book III: Raising Kanan” debuted as the network’s most highly engaged series premiere ever with the best series premiere completion rate across OTT platforms, and dominated social media on premiere night ranking #1 most social series and #1 most talked about series across all of TV among organic audiences1. The prequel story based on the iconic “Power” character Kanan Stark, played by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, was also the biggest multiplatform series premiere for 2021 and the night’s highest rated linear performance among premium networks2.
The series, which debuted on Sunday, July 18, was also the highest-rated program among Black households Sunday night3 and the second-highest rated series on cable to-date this year among Black households4 exemplifying STARZ’s ongoing commitment to narratives by, about and for women and underrepresented audiences.
Receiving an early greenlight for a second season announced last week, the “Power Book III: Raising Kanan” premiere was also the best international series debut ever across the STARZPLAY International streaming platform.
“It’s no surprise that ‘Raising Kanan’ set these records as we knew this was another bonafide hit from the ‘Power’ Universe,” said Jeffrey Hirsch, President and CEO of STARZ. “It’s clear the series is already drawing in an audience that is highly engaged and we’re thrilled to deliver yet another hit series that serves underrepresented audiences with the most in-demand premium television.”
The third book in the “Power” Universe stars Patina Miller (“Madam Secretary,” The Hunger Games Franchise) as Raquel “Raq” Thomas and MeKai Curtis in the titular role as Kanan Stark. The cast also includes Omar Epps (“House,”Love and Basketball), London Brown (“Ballers”), Malcolm Mays (“Them,” “Snowfall”), Hailey Kilgore (“Amazing Stories”), Joey Bada$$ (Two Distant Strangers), Toby Sandeman (“The Royals”), Shanley Caswell (The Conjuring), Lovie Simone (The Craft: Legacy) and Antonio Ortiz (“High Fidelity,” “The Sinner”) with Quincy Brown (Dope) recurring.
Sascha Penn serves as creator and showrunner, and executive produces alongside Courtney A. Kemp and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. The “Power” Universe series are executive produced by “Power” creator and showrunner Courtney A. Kemp through her production company End of Episode and through her overall deal with Lionsgate Television, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson through G-Unit Film and Television and Mark Canton through Atmosphere Entertainment MM. End of Episode’s Chris Selak, Shana Stein and Bart Wenrich also executive produce. Kevin Fox also serves as executive producer. Lionsgate Television produces the series for STARZ.
About “Power Book III: Raising Kanan”
Set in South Jamaica, Queens, in 1991, “Raising Kanan” is a prequel to the original “Power” franchise. It is a sprawling family drama that revolves around the coming of age of Kanan Stark; Ghost and Tommy’s mentor, partner and adversary, who ultimately dies in a hail of gunfire in the eighth episode of Power’s penultimate season.
When we catch up with Kanan here, he is the fifteen-year-old only child of Raquel “Raq” Thomas, a cocaine distributor with an emerging network of dealers across the city. Much like the original “Power,” “Raising Kanan” explores themes of identity, violence, and legacy, but it is also a deep dive into the very pathology of family; the unique, complicated and fraught dynamic between parent and child, mother and father, brother and sister.
In an increasingly fractious world, family often feels like the only refuge from all the divisiveness and discord and yet, at the same time, we often discover that it is those closest to us who betray us and our values most. The first season of “Raising Kanan” is an exploration of these betrayals, the secrets and lies that accompany them and the ways in which they fester, metastasize and ultimately erupt.
The overarching theme of this first season is, “You reap what you sow.” In other words, actions have consequences; betrayals are always uncovered; secrets are inevitably revealed; chickens come home to roost. Every character in “Raising Kanan” is hiding something. From the world, from each other, from themselves. And as our story unfolds, they each will have to grapple with the unintended and destructive consequences of the information they’ve hidden and withheld.
And while the ways in which these betrayals, secrets and lies reveal themselves will vary, one truth will remain constant: In “Raising Kanan,” as in the “Power” Universe, no one can be trusted and nothing is ever as it seems.
Follow “Power Book III: Raising Kanan” On Social Twitter: @RaisingKanan | @STARZPR Instagram: @RaisingKananStarz | @STARZPR Facebook: @RaisingKanan
1Source: Talkwalker SCR, 7/18/21
2Source: Streaming performance data and Nielsen Live+SD HH projections (000) for Sunday 7/18/21; Nielsen Live+SD HH rating, all primetime cable telecasts on 7/18/21
3 Source:Nielsen Live+SD HH rating, all primetime cable telecasts among Black homes on 7/18/21
4Source: Nielsen L+SD average HH ratings among Black homes, excluding repeats, 1/1/21 – 7/18/21
STARZ (www.starz.com), a Lionsgate company, is a leading global media streaming platform committed to delivering premium content that amplifies narratives by, about and for women and underrepresented audiences. STARZ is home to the highly-rated and first-of-its-kind STARZ app that offers the ability to stream or download STARZ premium content, as well as the flagship domestic STARZ(R) service, including STARZ ENCORE, 17 premium pay TV channels, and the associated on-demand and online services. In 2018, STARZ launched its STARZPLAY international premium streaming platform to provide subscribers access to the “best of global SVOD.” STARZPLAY, coupled with its STARZPLAY ARABIA joint venture, has expanded its global footprint into more than 55 countries throughout Europe and Latin America along with Canada, Japan, India and Indonesia. STARZ and STARZPLAY are available across digital OTT platforms and multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, and telecommunications companies around the world. In February 2021, STARZ launched #TakeTheLead, a multi-faceted and innovative inclusion initiative expanding its existing efforts to improve representation on screen, behind the camera and throughout the company.
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