The Deuce, the first of two David Simon drama pilots for HBO, has been picked up to series. The project, starring James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, is a narrative set in the Times Square demimonde of the 1970s and ’80s.

David SimonThe series pickup for The Deuce won’t impact the second David Simon HBO pilot, a Capitol Hill drama, on which he is collaborating with veteran journalist Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame. The plan is for him to film that pilot after he wraps work on the first season of The Deuce.

Written by The Wire creator Simon and longtime collaborator George Pelecanos and directed by Michelle MacLaren (Breaking Bad), The Deuce follows the story of the legaNBC's "72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards" - Arrivalslization and subsequent rise of the porn industry in New York’s Times Square from the early 1970s through the mid-1980s, exploring the rough-and-tumble world that existed there until the rise of HIV, the violence of the cocaine epidemic, and the renewed real estate market ended the bawdy turbulence.The pilot script is by Simon and Pelecanos, with Richard Price (The Color Of Money) also credited on subsequent scrHBO blue logoipts. Simon, Pelecanos, Price, MacLaren and Franco serve as executive producers along with longtime Simon collaborator Nina K. Noble. Marc Henry Johnson (A Huey P. Newton Story), who was instrumental in documenting the story, is a producer, along with Gyllenhaal.

Co-starring alongside Franco and Gyllenhaal are Gary Carr, Margarita Levieva, Lawrence Gilliard Jr., Dominique Fishback and Emily Meade.