Interviews by Paul Salfen
Set in South Jamaica, Queens, in 1991, Raising Kanan is a prequel to the original Power franchise. This family drama revolves around the coming of age of Kanan Stark, the 15-year-old child of Raq Thomas, a cocaine distributor with an emerging network of dealers across NYC. Raising Kanan explores themes of identity, violence, and legacy, but it also takes a deep dive into the pathology of family, discovering that those closest to us are the ones who betray us most. Season one explores these betrayals, secrets, and lies and the ways in which they fester, metastasize and ultimately erupt.
Mekai Curtis As Kanan
Patina Miller (Kanan's Mom Raquel Thomas) And Omar Epps (Detective Malcolm Howard)
London Brown(Kanan's Uncle Marvin Thomas), Malcolm Mays (Lou Lou), Hailey Kilgore (Jukebox)
Show Creator Sascha Penn
Santa Monica, Calif. – July 12, 2021 – Ahead of its season one series premiere on Sunday, July 18, STARZ has greenlit a second season of “Power Book III: Raising Kanan.” The season renewal comes amidst strong demand for the upcoming premiere of the third book in the growing “Power” Universe franchise.
Set in South Jamaica Queens in the early ‘90s, the prequel about the early years of the now-deceased iconic “Power” character Kanan Stark, portrayed in the original “Power” series by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, premieres on Sunday, July 18 at 8PM ET/PT on STARZ and across all platforms in the U.S. and Canada, airing day and date internationally on the STARZPLAY premium streaming platform across its complete footprint in Europe, Latin America and Japan.
“One season isn’t enough to tell the coming of age story of Kanan Stark and his mother, Raq, a fierce and successful woman who is a force of nature,” said Jeffrey Hirsch, President and CEO of STARZ. “The anticipation globally for more of the ‘Power’ Universe made it clear that the Kanan story needs to continue.”
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) and Lovie Simone (The Craft: Legacy) with Quincy Brown (Dope) recurring. Antonio Ortiz (“High Fidelity,” “The Sinner”) has been upped to a series regular role returning as Shawn “Famous” Figueroa in the second season.
Sascha Penn returns as creator and showrunner and will continue executive producing alongside Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Courtney A. Kemp. 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.