Aunjanue Ellis and Andrene Ward-Hammond join Courtney B. Vance in the AMC series 61st Street. This casting reunites Ellis, Vance, and Ward-Hammond, who all starred in HBO’s Lovecraft Country.
Also, cast in the series 61st Street as regulars are Tosin Cole, Bentley Green, Holt McCallany, and Killian Scott.
Michael B. Jordan and Alana Mayo of Outlier Society and J. David Shanks are executive producing the series, which has already been given a two-season, eight-episode per season order.
The series 61st Street 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 cops and prosecutors seek revenge for the death of an officer during a drug bust gone wrong.
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Ellis will be a series regular and will appear as Martha Roberts. Mrs. Roberts is an alderman candidate on the South Side. She is very skilled at using her drive and ambition to ensure the voting public she will be at their service. Like in Lovecraft Country, Ellis’ character is married to Courtney B. Vance’s character, Franklin Roberts. Martha is a former stay-at-home mom to their autistic son, David and is torn between her burgeoning career in politics and the needs of her family.
Ward-Hammond will recur as Norma Johnson, a cleaning lady at the local courthouse and a dedicated mother to her two sons, Moses (Cole) and Joshua (Green). Her world is rocked when Moses, a promising high school athlete, is swept up into the infamously corrupt Chicago criminal justice system.
Vance plays Franklin Roberts, a public defender in the twilight of his career who serves the busiest courthouse in America. After promising his wife he’d retire to spend more time with their 17-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.
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McCallany will play Lieutenant Tardelli, 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, who begins to question his commitment to the department while examining his own morality. This happens following a murder that occurred in the street during a drug bust gone wrong,
Moffat serves as executive producer and showrunner. AMC Studios Content Distribution will manage worldwide sales. Production for the courtroom drama series, 61st Street is slated to begin next month in Chicago for a 2022 premiere.