Additional cast members have been added to AMC's upcoming thrilling courtroom drama 61st Street. Aunjanue Ellis (Lovecraft Country), Andrene Ward-Hammond (Your Honor, Project Power, Manifest), Holt McCallany (Mindhunter, Blue Bloods), and Killian Scott (Dublin Murders, Damnation) join previously announced stars, Emmy Award-winner Courtney B. Vance (The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Lovecraft Country, Genius), Tosin Cole (Doctor Who, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens) and Bentley Green (Snowfall).
The two-season television event series, with eight episodes per season, comes from BAFTA-winner Peter Moffat (Criminal Justice, The Night Of, Your Honor) and executive-produced by Michael B. Jordan and Alana Mayo of Outlier Society (Just Mercy, David Makes Man).
61st Street is a propulsive courtroom drama that follows Moses Johnson (Cole), a promising, black high school athlete, who is swept up into the infamously corrupt Chicago criminal justice system. Taken by the police as a supposed gang member, he finds himself in the eye of the storm as police and prosecutors seek revenge for the death of an officer during a drug bust gone wrong. Franklin Roberts (Vance) is a public defender in the twilight of his career serving the busiest courthouse in America. After promising his wife he’d retire to spend more time with their seventeen-year-old autistic son, Franklin realizes Moses Johnson is the case of a lifetime, one that can upend the entire Chicago judicial system, challenging the institutional racism and endemic corruption at its heart. Timely and provocative, 61st Street is set against the systemic abuse happening in some of our country’s most vulnerable communities.
Ellis will portray Martha Roberts, a candidate for alderman on the South Side who is very skilled at telling the voting public that her drive and ambition will be placed at their service. The wife of Franklin Roberts and a former stay-at-home mom to their autistic son, David, she’s torn between her burgeoning career in politics and the needs of her family.
Ward-Hammond will play Norma Johnson, a cleaning lady at the local courthouse and a dedicated mother to her two sons, Moses and Joshua (Bentley Green). Her world is rocked when Moses, a promising high school athlete, is swept up into the infamously corrupt Chicago criminal justice system.
McCallany is Lieutenant Tardelli. Tardelli is a Chicago police lieutenant running a hard, dirty squad. He believes in keeping peace on the streets by force, no matter the cost.
Scott will play Rocco Andretti, a legacy Chicago police officer. When a murder occurs on the streets during a drug bust gone wrong, he’s forced to question his commitment to the department while examining his own morality.
“Having spent 10 years at the criminal bar and the last two years researching deep inside the criminal justice system in Chicago, this is a story I've been waiting to write all my professional life," says Moffat, who will serve as showrunner and executive producer, in a statement. "61st Street is a thriller - supple plotting and dynamic storytelling are central to everything - but race, politics, history, jurisprudence, and police culture are all fundamental to what this project is about and broaden its scope into what I hope will be a story for our times. Working alongside Alana Mayo and Michael B. Jordan makes me happy and humble and I'm very grateful to AMC for their amazing support.”
61st Street is executive-produced by Jordan, Mayo and Hilary Salmon (MotherFatherSon, The Night Of, London Spy). Moffat serves as showrunner and executive producer alongside J. David Shanks (The Chi, Seven Seconds, Shots Fired).
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