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Godfather of Harlem

Godfather of Harlem

  • Premiered: 
    September 29, 2019
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: EPIX
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Drama
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Inspired by the life of Bumpy Johnson 
  • Subject Matter: Gang/Mafia/Mob
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Plot Synopsis

Inspired by the story of an infamous crime boss, GODFATHER OF HARLEM is a one-hour drama series that centers on Bumpy Johnson, who in the early 1960s returned from ten years in prison to find the neighborhood he once ruled in shambles. With the streets controlled by the Italian mob, Bumpy must take on the Genovese crime family to regain control. During the brutal battle, he forms an alliance with radical preacher Malcolm X -- catching Malcolm's political rise in the crosshairs of social upheaval and a mob war that threatens to tear the city apart. This series is a collision of the criminal underworld and the civil rights movement during one of the most tumultuous times in American history. Executive produced by series star Forest Whitaker, GODFATHER OF HARLEM was shot on location in New York City.

The second season of GODFATHER OF HARLEM premiered on Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 9pm ET/PT on Sunday, April 18, 2021 on EPIX. Season 2 finds Bumpy Johnson battling the New York Crime Families for control of the lucrative and murderous "French Connection," the pipeline for heroin that runs from Marseilles to New York Harbor. With a distribution syndicate that includes black crime bosses from other major U.S. cities, Bumpy takes a cue from his friend Malcolm X's message of black economic nationalism. His ambitious plan will face challenges from not only the Italians but his wife Mayme, daughter Elise, rival Adam Clayton Powell, prosecutor Robert Morgenthau, and even Malcolm himself. Once again, Godfather of Harlem explores the collision of the criminal underworld and civil rights in the colorful, tumultuous year of 1964. After a 2.5-month break, GODFATHER OF HARLEM returned with new episodes on Sunday, August 8, 2021 at 9pm ET/PT on EPIX. In the summer premiere, "Man of the Year," Bumpy Johnson contemplates the many contradictions in his life before accepting a prestigious award, and he struggles to do what's best for his family. Chin Gigante learns a difficult truth about his daughter, Stella.

Season 3 of GODFATHER OF HARLEM premiered on Sunday, January 15, 2023 at 9pm ET/PT on MGM+ linear channel on cable and earlier in the day on the MGM+ app. The new season finds Bumpy Johnson continuing to battle for control of Harlem, with other aspirants to the throne, namely the Cuban Mafia from neighboring Spanish Harlem. Taking on the Cuban mob will put Bumpy, his loved ones, and his community in the crosshairs of not only the rival Italians, but ruthless Latin assassins and, ultimately, the CIA. Godfather of Harlem is a collision of the criminal underworld and the civil rights movement during one of the most tumultuous times in American history. In the season opener, "The Negro in White America," to repay a drug debt owed to the Italians after the Harlem riots, Bumpy Johnson robs from his own community.
On Sunday, March 26, 2023 at 9pm ET/PT, MGM+ released "Our Black Shining Prince," the Season 3 finale of GODFATHER OF HARLEM. Bumpy and Chin enlist Morgenthau's help to prevent Colombo and Battle from bringing in a shipment of heroin, guns, and cocaine; Stella must choose between Colombo and her father.


Production & Distribution

  • Produced by ABC Signature Studios


  • - Harlem, New York USA