The series is titled “Godfather of Harlem.” It will tell the true story of crime boss Bumpy Johnson (Whitaker), who in the early 1960s returned after 10 years in prison to find the neighborhood he once ruled in shambles. With the streets controlled by the Italian mob, Bumpy takes on the Genovese crime family to regain control. During the brutal battle, he forms an alliance with radical preacher Malcolm X, catching his political rise in the crosshairs of social upheaval and a mob war that threatens to tear the city apart.
Epix has ordered a 10-episode first season.
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Whitaker has a love for Harlem since he starred in the ‘A Rage in Harlem’ with Gregory Hines, Robin Givens, Danny Glover, the Apollo Theater’s Kiki Shepard and director Bill Duke in 1991.
Whitaker will also serve as an executive producer via his company Significant Productions. Chris Brancato and Paul Eckstein will serve as writers and executive producers. ABC Signature Studios will produce. Production will begin later this year with an eye towards a 2019 premiere.