‘P-Valley’: Why Did the Play Fail but the TV Show Is a Huge Hit?

P-Valley fans finally have some good news. The hit Starz drama has begun filming its second season in Atlanta. Set in Chucalissa, Mississippi, P-Valley centers the popular strip club, The Pynk, and its non-binary owner Uncle Clifford (Nicco Annan). Uncle Clifford rules her place and her girls with an iron fist and a tender touch.

Mercedes (Brandee Evans) is The Pynk’s headliner, on the verge of retirement. Keyshawn, aka Ms. Mississippi (Shannon Thornton), is looking to take Mercedes’ place, but her violent home life may halt her plans. Then there is  Autumn (Elarica Johnson), The Pynk’s newest dancer who has some deadly secrets.

Created by playwright Katori Hall, P-Valley was 2020’s most buzz-worthy show. However, before it became a TV sensation, Hall’s play of the same name was a major flop.

Elarica Johnson as Autumn and Brandee Evans as Mercedes sitting on a bed chatting in 'P-Valley'
Elarica Johnson as Autumn and Brandee Evans as Mercedes in ‘P-Valley’ | Starz

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‘P-Valley’ was inspired by Cardi B

Hall had always been intrigued by the world of exotic dancers. She viewed these women as athletes and entrepreneurs even though they were sexualized in popular culture. When Cardi B burst onto the scene in the reality show, Love & Hip-Hop: New York, Hall knew it was time to bring this world to life.

“Cardi B literally rolled out the Pynk carpet for P Valley,” she told Elle. “I was following her on social media when she was a dancer because I loved her personality. She was funny as fu*k and smart as fu*k, and even being young, she was this vibrant and political woman who was articulating herself in this powerful way. So fast forward, she just popped, and this story about this stripper-turned-rapper was on everyone’s tongue. She made other people feel comfortable and be more accepting—and was unapologetic about it the entire time. She was the starting point.”

We would love to see Cardi make an appearance at some point.

RELATED: ‘P-Valley’ Season 2 Details Revealed by Actor Nicco Annan: ‘It’s Going To Be Very Interesting’

Why did Katori Hall’s ‘P-Valley’ play fail?

Though fans have fallen in love with P-Valley and are desperate to return to The Pynk with new episodes, Hall’s initial interpretation of this world, which was a stage play did not go over well with audiences. In order to ensure the TV show’s success, she had to understand why her play failed to take off.

“Failure is good. Failure gives you information. Failure leads you to the light,” Hall told Indiewire. “Obviously a light bulb went off in my head when I saw it, and I was just like, ‘Oh my God, there’s too much going on, there’s too many characters. I want to spend years with them, not just two and a half hours. I want Uncle Clifford to be in my living room for as many years as he can.’”

For the next couple of years, Hall spent all of her time studying strip clubs, strip culture, and interviewing dancers. Clearly, it all paid off.

RELATED: ‘P-Valley’ Was Rejected by Tons of Networks Before It Landed on Starz

When will P-Valley Season 2 debut?

Though Hall’s play failed, her TV version of P-Valley has been a ratings sensation. The show debuted in July 2020 amid the pandemic and fans have not stopped talking about it since. However, due to the rules and regulations of filming amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the nature of the show, it appears that the second season of P-Valley will premiere almost two years after the first season.

The second season of P-Valley is currently filming in Atlanta and Starz has ordered 10 episodes of the drama instead of the eight episodes that were in season one.  “You’re going to see a lot of things that happen outside the club this season, making it humanizing as well because everyone has a life when they go home from their job and so do these women and these men in the club as well,” Evans told Gold Derby.

Honestly, when the series finally does return to Starz, we’ll be ready.