Courtney A. Kemp

American producer and writer (born 1977)

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Courtney A. Kemp
Courtney Kemp Agboh on the “Flesh and Bone” Red Carpet.jpg
Kemp in 2015
Born (1977-05-04) May 4, 1977 (age 44)
Norwalk, Connecticut, United States
EducationBrown University
Columbia University
Alma materBrown University (1998)
OccupationTelevision writer and producer
Years active2005–present
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Courtney A. Kemp (born May 4, 1977) is an American television writer and producer. She created the 2014 Starz television series Power. She has written for such shows as The Good Wife and Beauty & the Beast.

Early life and education

Kemp was raised in Westport, Connecticut, and began reading college textbooks at the age of eight. Her father Herbert Kemp Jr was the first African American graduate of Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business.[1] The Kemp family was one of the few African American families in Westport and faced discrimination. By the age of 10 she had begun reading plays by William Shakespeare, eventually coming up with her own stories. In 1994, she graduated from Staples High School and went on to receive her bachelor's degree from Brown University as well as her Master's in English Literature from Columbia University.[2]

Career

Kemp had an initial plan to become a professor in literature with her degree but that did not suit her needs. She wanted a more collaborative career. She went on to land an interview at Vogue, to become an Assistant but did not land the job. She then strove to get a job for Entertainment Weekly and was questioning why that would not be possible. Kemp went on to land a position at Mademoiselle and worked at GQ for three years. She then left the industry and started writing for the J.Crew catalogue. Kemp's job at GQ landed her many good opportunities, especially getting offers from several TV producers asking her to adapt one of her pieces, on interracial dating, into a show. Although this never materialized, it made her want to start producing for the small screen.

At the age of 26, Kemp left Westport and went to Los Angeles, California to further pursue her dream as a television writer. There she garnered her big break by becoming a staff writer for the then-Fox hit series The Bernie Mac Show. She then began writing for other television shows such as Eli Stone, Justice and Beauty & the Beast (a 2012 remake of the 1987 series of the same name) before eventually becoming increasingly known for her writing of episodes for the CBS political drama series The Good Wife.[3]

Her idea for what would become the first series she ever sold and pitched, Power, came about when she met rapper 50 Cent and executive producer Mark Canton at a coffeehouse in Los Angeles. She thought up the concept of a guy destined to leave his life as a drug dealer behind him to become a successful club owner and businessman, and soon penned the script with 50 Cent and Canton alongside her, both serving as executive producers. The show aired on the Starz network from June 7, 2014 to February 9, 2020 and received critical acclaim.

The success of the show spawned several spin-offs including Power Book II: Ghost which premiered on September 6, 2020. Kemp served as the showrunner for the show. In August 2021, she signed a deal with Netflix.[4]

Personal life

Kemp lost her father, Herbert Kemp Jr., in 2011.[5] The first episode of Power was dedicated to his memory and he was the inspiration behind the main character James "Ghost" St. Patrick.[5]

Courtney and her family lived in Westport, Connecticut where they were one of few black families residing in the town at the time and suffered racial harassment.[5]

Kemp describes herself as having been a voracious reader in her youth with an interest in politics.[3]

She has a daughter named Charlie.[5] Her ex-husband,[6] a Senior Vice President of Business Affairs at Paramount Pictures named Brian Mawuli Agboh,[7] filed for a divorce in 2016.[8]

References

  1. ^ "Herbert Kemp, Jr. T'66".
  2. ^ "Courtney Kemp Agboh Adds More Power". 06880. Westport. November 20, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Robert Ito (July 25, 2014). "A Boss Who's Open to Suggestions: Courtney Kemp Agboh Runs Power With 50 Cents Input". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (August 11, 2021). "'Power' Creator Courtney Kemp Moves Overall Deal to Netflix". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d "The Heartbreak That Inspired Courtney A. Kemp's "Power"". www.yahoo.com. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  6. ^ Kemp, Courtney A. (August 28, 2016). "My ex-husband is Ghanian. I am not using the name any more but you are right. It is technically Nigerian but fam is from Ghana". @courtneykemp. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  7. ^ "Brian Mawuli Agboh #243267 - Attorney Licensee Search". members.calbar.ca.gov. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  8. ^ "Brian Mawuli Agboh Vs Courtney Kemp Agboh". Unicourt. Retrieved September 16, 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External links

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