‘Power Book II: Ghost’ Season 4 Launch on Starz Attracts More Than 6.5 Million Premiere Week Viewers

Starz on June 18 announced that part one of the fourth season of its crime drama series  “Power Book II: Ghost” was watched by more than 6.5 million multiplatform viewers in its premiere week, making it one of the network’s biggest launches ever ever.

Season doue, part one also broke engagement records on the Starz app, with over 11% of premiere-day streams coming in the first hour after the episode debuted. On linear television, the “Power Book II: Ghost” season four premiere was the highest-rated cable program among Black households across the premiere week. Collectively, the “Power” Universe series have now amassed 1.5 billion hours watched globally to date.

“Power Book II: Ghost” is both a direct sequel and spin-off to “Power,” which aired on Starz from 2014 to 2020. Power tells the story of James St. Patrick, an intelligent, smooth yet ruthless drug dealer who goes by the alias of “Ghost.” He wants to leave the criminal world to pursue legitimate business interests as a nightclub owner, aiming to balance those two lives while also avoiding police capture, trying to navigate his crumbling marriage and managing shifting economic alliances.

“Power Book II: Ghost” follows Ghost’s son, Tariq, as he tries to shed his father’s legacy amid mounting pressure to save his family. He gets tangled up with the cutthroat Tejada family as he seeks to balance his drug operations with his education, love life, family affairs, and law enforcement scrutiny.

Season four of “Power Book II: Ghost” stars Michael Rainey Jr. as Tariq St. Patrick, Mary J. Blige as Monet Tejada, Cliff “Method Man” Smith as Davis MacLean, Gianni Paolo as Brayden Weston, Woody McClain as Cane Tejada, Lovell Adams-Gray as Dru Tejada, LaToya Tonodeo as Diana Tejada, Alix Lapri as Effie Morales, Larenz Tate as Rashad Tate, Caroline Chikezie  as Noma, Lightskinkeisha as Brushaundria Carmichael and Michael Ealy as Detective Don Carter.

New episodes of “Power Book II: Ghost” premiere every Friday.

Lionsgate Television Extends Partnership With ‘Power’ Series Showrunner Gary Lennon

Lionsgate March 11 announced the extension of its development deal with Gary Lennon, the Peabody Award-winning producer, showrunner and writer of the long-running “Power” drama series, including season three of “Power Book IV: Force.”

Gary Lennon (Shutterstock image)

Under the new deal, Lennon will continue to work with Lionsgate Television and Starz on development opportunities to expand the Power Universe. The series franchise has generated three installments, with their first seasons delivering 8.5 million multiplatform viewers apiece.

Lennon served as showrunner and executive producer for “Force” season two and is returning for season three. Lionsgate Television and Lennon have partnered on several other series, including “P-Valley,” the flagship “Power” series, “Hightown” for Starz, and “Orange Is the New Black” for Netflix.

“Gary has been a major creative force in the ‘Power’ universe,” Kevin Beggs, Lionsgate Television group chair and chief creative officer, said in a statement. “We look forward to extending our partnership as we collaborate with Starz to create new and unexpected franchise extensions.”

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Lennon also serves as an executive producer on HBO’s multiple Emmy-nominated series “Euphoria.” He won a Peabody Award and was nominated for an Emmy for the first season of “Orange Is the New Black,” and he earned Peabody, WGA and AFI Awards for the FX’s “Justified.” He also won two NAACP Image Awards for the original “Power” series.

Jonathan Kleinman negotiated the deal on behalf of Lionsgate Television. Lennon is represented by CAA and attorney Erik Hyman.

‘Power Book II: Ghost’ Season 3 Premiere Sets Viewership Records, Starz Says

Starz on March 23 said “Power Book II: Ghost” season three set viewership records as the network’s biggest premiere weekend ever in its first three days.

Based on early reporting, the third season delivered 5.8 million multiplatform viewers following its premiere weekend, with several platforms yet to report. Season three of the hit series, which premiered on March 17, was also up approximately 30% from the season two debut in November 2021.

This season featured new twists, turns and murder as Tariq, Brayden and the Tejada family are grieving the death of Zeke, but they won’t get much time as a new set of problems and questions arise. Monet finds herself at a crossroads with her family, Brayden is forced to choose between his birth family and chosen family, and Tariq is leveling up this season.

The cast of “Ghost” season three includes Michael Rainey Jr. as Tariq St. Patrick, Mary J. Blige as Monet Stewart Tejada, Cliff “Method Man” Smith as Davis MacLean, Gianni Paolo as Brayden Weston, Woody McClain as Cane Tejada, Lovell Adams-Gray as Dru Tejada,” LaToya Tonodeo as “Diana Tejada,” Berto Colon as “Lorenzo Tejada, Alix Lapri as Effie Morales, Larenz Tate as Rashad Tate, Shane Johnson as Cooper Saxe, Paton Ashbrook as Jenny Sullivan, Monique Curnen as Detective Blanca Rodriguez, Keesha Sharp as Professor Harper Bennet, David Walton as Lucas Weston, Moriah Brown as KeKe Travis, Luna Lauren Velez as Evelyn Castillo, Caroline Chikezie as Noma and Lightskinkeisha as Brushaundria Carmichael.

“Power Book II: Ghost” is the first series in the expanded “Power” Universe franchise. Brett Mahoney serves as showrunner and executive producer for season two. The “Power” Universe series is executive produced by the creator and showrunner of the original “Power,” Courtney A. Kemp, through her production company End of Episode, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson through G-Unit Film and Television, and Mark Canton through Atmosphere Entertainment MM. Lionsgate Television produces the series for Starz.


Starz CEO Hints at 8 Million OTT Subs as Service Expands into France, Italy, Spain

In deference to the burgeoning over-the-top video ecosystem, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer spent much of the Aug. 9 fiscal call plugging subsidiary Starz and its branded $8.99 SVOD platform.

Feltheimer said Starz, which Lionsgate acquired in 2016 for $4.4 billion, is “well-capitalized” to take advantage of the growing online TV market (i.e. DirecTV Now, YouTube TV, Sling TV). The channel is slated to bow on Hulu Live TV in October.

“We’re bullish about overall [including pay-TV] subscriber growth for the rest of the year,” said Feltheimer.

On the call, Starz CEO Chris Albrecht suggested the OTT platform’s sub base could rival the 8 million associated with HBO Now – with the majority of Starz sub growth in the United Kingdom and Germany generated through Amazon Channels and, separately, as a result of a Hulu partnership in the United States.

“If you took our Amazon business and added in a potentially-like Hulu business, we’d be right up there [in subscribers],” Albrecht said. “We have a strong wholesale relationship … great price point, and we think it’s a really good product.”

Starz officially disclosed 2 million OTT subscribers in late 2017.

Starz (branded Starz Play outside the U.S.) features Lionsgate catalog movie and TV programming as well original series “Power,” “Outlander,” “American Gods” and “The Spanish Princess,” among others.

Starz co-owns Starz Play Arabia — the largest OTT video service in the Middle East, with Starz Play launches planned for France, Italy and Spain.

Responding to an analyst’s question about Lionsgate’s willingness to up Starz content spending, Feltheimer said the answer is “yes”.

“The plan is working as we spend more, as we market more effectively, we are getting excellent subscriber [growth] trajectories,” he said.


Latest Seasons of ‘Orange,’ ‘Power’ Coming to Disc June 12

Lionsgate June 12 will release Orange Is the New Black: The Complete Fifth Season on DVD, Blu-ray and digitally.

The fifth season of the Netflix series features the inmates of Litchfield Penitentiary taking over the prison after a riot to seek justice for inhumane conditions and the death of a fellow inmate.

The show stars Taylor Schilling, Natasha Lyonne, Laura Prepon, Kate Mulgrew, Uzo Aduba, Michael Harney, Nick Sandow, Jessica Pimentel, Taryn Manning, Yael Stone and Danielle Brooks.

Extras include a gag real, audio commentaries on select episodes and the featurette “72 Hours In 6 Months: Stories of the Season.”

Also due June 12 is Power: The Complete Fourth Season on DVD.

The Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson executive-produced drama follows the enthralling rags-to-riches tale of James “Ghost” St. Patrick, a wealthy New York nightclub owner who leads a double life of survival and corruption as a drug kingpin. Omari Hardwick, Lela Loren, Naturi Naughton, Joseph Sikora, Jerry Ferrara and 50 Cent star. The fourth season finds Ghost arrested for a murder he did not commit and fighting for his life.

Season Five of “Power” premieres July 1 on Starz and the Starz app.