Power may wrap for good in February, but fans won’t have to live long without their weekly crime-drama fix from the addictive (and extraordinarily popular) Starz series. This summer, the network will unveil a spin-off featuring Mary J. Blige as Monet, a very successful woman in Queens who runs her business “with an iron fist,” explains executive producer Courtney A. Kemp. And EW has the exclusive first look!

Exactly how Monet earns her keep remains a mystery for now, but it’s probably not a stretch to assume that she — like Ghost [Power’s Omari Hardwick] before her — will be dabbling in the wild world of narcotics. It’s an idea that Kemp had been chewing on for nearly two years but didn’t truly take root until reps for Blige approached her about a Power cameo (because she was a big fan, natch).

Power Book II: Ghost
Credit: Myles Aronowitz/Starz

Power obviously is a masculine show but has very strong female characters,” Kemp tells EW. (Blige is pictured here with LaToya Tonodeo, who plays Monet’s daughter Diana). “For Mary’s character, we use all the power and presence of the actress to communicate how this is a woman who is remarkable and unique in her abilities. She’s as smart, savvy, and strategic as Ghost ever was, but her learning doesn’t come from books. We always said Ghost was a bookish kid who read all the time. This woman’s acumen comes from the street.”

If you loved what Power had to offer for six seasons, you’ll definitely appreciate Ghost, promises Kemp. “There are some people from the original show as well as a bunch of new characters,” such as Method Man, who will play an ethically challenged lawyer. “It will definitely have a lot of the same elements that you’re used to from Power in terms of criminality, sex, romance, and the legal system. Every scene is still about power.”

A version of this story appears in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands Friday — or buy it here now. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

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