‘Power Book II: Ghost’: Michael Rainey Jr. Reveals Initial Reaction to Spinoff: ‘Nobody Is Watching This’
When Power fans found out Tariq St. Patrick was getting his own spinoff, most reacted with understandable anger. He had never been a fan favorite and had lost even more points when he was revealed as James St. Patrick’s killer. As a result, Michael Rainey Jr. figured they wouldn’t watch the show, but Power Book II: Ghost turned out to be a hit.
Michael Rainey Jr. discussed his reaction to finding out about ‘Power Book II: Ghost’
“50 [Cent, an executive producer and actor on the show] told me on set,” he recounted. “I forgot what episode we were on, but he just comes up to me like, ‘You gotta get ready.’ I’m like, ‘Get ready for what?’ He’s like, ‘You’re about to have your own show.'”
Though Power was a huge hit at the time, he was surprised that there was a spinoff happening surrounding Tariq. “Everyone hated my character, so I’m like, ‘What the f*** are y’all talking about? What do you mean I’m gonna have my own show? Nobody is watching this. They don’t like Tariq,'” he said, laughing.
Surprisingly, ‘Power Book II: Ghost’ became a huge hit
Despite those concerns, the show moved forward. Created by Courtney Kemp, Ghost centers on Tariq in the immediate days after his father’s murder. Ghost left behind quite a bit of money for Tariq, but in order to receive it, he has to graduate from college with honors. Tariq winds up at the prestigious Stansfield University to complete his studies. But his future is put at risk when he begins selling drugs around campus.
Although some viewers had claimed they wouldn’t watch the show, Ghost debuted in September of 2020 to instant success. Some have even found themselves rooting for Tariq despite his history.
“I don’t how they flipped it,” Rainey said on the podcast. “I never thought it would possible that people would like Tariq.”
The original series also birthed other spinoffs
In addition to Ghost, Starz has launched three other Power spinoffs.
Power Book III: Raising Kanan centers on 50 Cent’s Power character Kanan Stark. It takes place in the ’90s when Kanan was still a teenager and follows his rise before his death in the original series. Like Ghost, the show was an immediate hit, earning a season 2 renewal even before the first one aired.
Power Book IV: Force arrived in February and follows Ghost’s best friend Tommy Egan as he copes with his death. Hoping for a fresh start, Tommy leaves New York for Chicago to build a new organization. But it’s difficult being the new guy in town.
Finally, there’s the Rashad Tate spinoff Power Book V: Influence. Few details have emerged since the initial announcement, but Kemp told Entertainment Weekly the concept is “about the way Washington D.C. looks now for Black politicians.”
“You know Mr. Smith Goes to Washington? I think I’ll leave it at that,” she added.
In the meantime, Ghost, Raising Kanan, and Force are all streaming now on Starz.