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Bumpy Johnson crime drama 'Godfather of Harlem' gets September premiere date


"Godfather of Harlem" will premiere on Epix Sept. 29.  (Credit: Epix)

"It's been a long time Johnson. Welcome back." 

Infamous crime boss Bumpy Johnson returns to the streets of Harlem after a decade behind bars in a new teaser clip released Thursday from the upcoming television drama, "Godfather of Harlem."

Following months of buzz, the '60s-set series that filmed on the city streets finally has a release date. The 10-episode order comes to Epix beginning Sept. 29, the network confirmed. 

Aside from its anticipated plot (the series tells the true story of Johnson's attempt to regain control of his city from the Italian mob and his alliance with radical preacher Malcolm X), the series brings together an impressive cast. The teaser features a first-look at actor Nigel Thatch as Malcolm X, a role he earned an Oscar nomination for in 2014's "Selma." 

Forest Whitaker appears as Bumpy Johnson. He stars alongside New York City's "She's Gotta Have It" actress Ilfenesh Hadera, who's cast as his on-screen wife, Mayme Hatcher Johnson. 

The series preys upon an evolving New York City, both on the streets and behind closed doors ("So much has changed in Harlem since you've been gone") and teases an all-out mob war against the Genovese crime family. 

"I got soldiers," Malcolm X says in the teaser. 

"I got guns," a riled-up Johnson replies. 

Bumpy, born Ellsworth Raymond Johnson, was known as the most infamous crime leader in Harlem between 1930 and 1968.

Epix describes the series as a "collision of the criminal underworld and the civil rights movement during one of the most tumultuous times in American history." 


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