×

Giancarlo Esposito Joins Forest Whitaker in Epix Series ‘Godfather of Harlem’

Giancarlo Esposito has joined the upcoming Epix series “Godfather of Harlem” in a series regular role, Variety has learned.

The 10-episode series is inspired by the story of infamous Harlem crime boss Bumpy Johnson, who will be played by Forest Whitaker. Esposito will play Adam Clayton Powell, a Baptist minister, Harlem congressman, and man of many appetites. Powell is a legendary Harlem figure who more than any other New Yorker advanced the cause of civil rights at home and in Washington. With a taste for European cruises at taxpayer expense, whiskey and milk, and beautiful women, Powell is an outrageous showman who delights in tweaking the white power structure. His running feud with Bumpy Johnson becomes the stuff of lore and legend.

This will not be the first time Esposito and Whitaker have worked together. Both men appeared in the film “Smoke” in onscreen roles, while Whitaker directed the film “Waiting to Exhale” in which Esposito had an uncredited role as Gloria’s ex-husband, David.

Esposito is perhaps best known for his role as Gustavo “Gus” Fring in the AMC shows “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” with his time on the former show earning him an Emmy nomination in 2012. Esposito also narrates the Netflix series “Dear White People.” On the film side, he has collaborated with Spike Lee on several projects, including the groundbreaking film “Do the Right Thing.”

He is repped by ICM and Thruline Entertainment.

“Godfather of Harlem” is written and executive produced by Chris Brancato and Paul Eckstein. Whitaker will also executive produce along with Nina Yang Bongiovi under his Significant Productions banner. ABC Signature Studios will produce.

More TV

  • Maya Hawke'Once Upon a Time in

    Maya Hawke Reflects on Robin's 'Stranger Things' Coming Out Story

    Robin Buckley shocked viewers everywhere when she came out as a lesbian to Steve Harrington on the floor of a bathroom stall, but actress Maya Hawke says the twist wasn’t always set in stone. Hawke tells Variety that it wasn’t until episode four or five that she and the Duffer Brothers came to a final decision [...]

  • Love Island - Pictured: Kyra Green,

    TV Ratings: Is 'Love Island' Deserted?

    Two weeks have passed on “Love Island” and plenty of singles have coupled and uncoupled in their bid for love and a fat $100,000 pay check. However, there’s one couple that doesn’t seem to be hitting it off: CBS and “Love Island.” Ratings for the show have been far from paradisiacal, and with the network [...]

  • Jenny Wall Eryk Casemiro Nickelodeon

    Jenny Wall Named Nickelodeon CMO, Eryk Casemiro Named Senior VP of Nickelodeon Preschool

    Nickelodeon has hired two new executives, tapping Jenny Wall to become chief marketing officer and Eryk Casemiro to become senior vice president of Nickelodeon Preschool. Most recently CMO at Spotify-owned Gimlet Media, Wall will be responsible for all on- and off-air consumer marketing, brand creative and content launches across all of Nickelodeon’s platforms, including Nicktoons, [...]

  • Liz Garbus on Why We May

    Liz Garbus on Why The World May Never Know 'Who Killed Garrett Phillips'

    By the time Liz Garbus’s two-part documentary “Who Killed Garrett Phillips?” debuts on HBO, there could be a new public lead in the case of the murdered titular 12-year-old. As least, that’s what many may hope after the new St. Lawrence County district attorney admitted a new tip earlier this spring. Garbus says she would [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content