By Denise Petski
Tosin Cole (Doctor Who, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) is set as the lead opposite Courtney B. Vance in AMC’s upcoming courtroom drama series 61st Street from BAFTA-winner Peter Moffat (The Night Of). Bentley Green (Snowfall) also has been cast in a key role in the series executive produced by Michael B. Jordan and Alana Mayo of Outlier Society and produced by AMC Studios.
61st Street has been ordered as a two-season television event with eight episodes per season. It is slated to debut in 2021.
61st Street is a timely and relevant story that echoes projects such as Just Mercy, Clemency and When They See Us. It 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.
Cole’s Moses is a kid from Chicago’s South Side. Athletic, smart, savvy, funny and a seriously gifted runner, his future is mapped out. He’s 24 hours away from leaving home to take up an athletic scholarship at a college in New Hampshire, which is when he has an encounter with the Chicago Police Department that ends in the death of a white officer and Moses’ arrest for his killing.
Green will portray Joshua, young brother of Moses. Joshua is in the middle of trying to work out how he’s going to be the man of the house when his older brother leaves for college when Moses is caught up in an encounter with the police that will change both their lives forever.
As previously announced, Vance will portray 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.
61st Street is executive produced by Jordan, Mayo and Hilary Salmon (The Night Of). Moffat serves as showrunner and executive producer alongside J. David Shanks (The Chi). AMC Studios Content Distribution will manage worldwide sales.