AMC has opened a writers room for 61st Street, a potential drama series from BAFTA-winner Peter Moffat (Criminal Justice, The Night Of,), Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society and AMC Studios. The project is being developed as part of AMC’s “scripts-to-series” model, which opens writers’ rooms to produce multiple backup scripts for pilot scripts the network is high on. In success, the projects that have gone through a writers room move to straight-to-series orders.
AMC usually has two “pickup” seasons — winter and summer — when it selects projects to open writers rooms. 61st Street is part of this winter season, joining Rainy Day People, from the Halt and Catch Fires team of Chris Cantwell, Christopher C. Rogers, Mark Johnson and Melissa Bernstein, and Kevin Can F*** Himself (working title), from Valerie Armstrong, Rashida Jones and Will McCormack, which were designated for “scripts-to-series” consideration in November.
Their writers rooms are still ongoing, as is the one for primetime animated drama Pantheon, whose order includes a presentation in addition to the scripts. It was one of two projects AMC commissioned writers rooms for in the summer, along with drama St Luke’s. The latter’s writers room has wrapped, and it is in consideration for a series greenlight.
Moffat is showrunner and executive producer of 61st Street. Set in present-day Chicago, the drama follows Moses Johnson, a promising high school athlete, who is swept up into the infamously corrupt Chicago criminal justice system. Taken by the police as a gang member, he soon 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. A timely examination of the institutional racism plaguing cities nationwide, “61st Street” plumbs the depths of systemic abuse happening in some of the country’s most vulnerable communities.
English writer Moffat previously examined the American criminal justice system with The Night Of, HBO’s adaptation of his British series Criminal Justice.
An AMC Studios production, 61st Street is executive produced by Michael B. Jordan and Alana Mayo of Outlier Society (David Makes Man) and Hilary Salmon of BBC Studios (MotherFatherSon, The Night Of, London Spy).
“Award-winning writer Peter Moffat’s 61st Street is a murder mystery, courtroom drama, and an examination of race in America wrapped up into one,” said David Madden, president of programming for AMC Networks and AMC Studios. “Peter justly won acclaim for Criminal Justice, the British thriller which was remade by HBO as The Night Of, and in this case he’s partnered with extraordinary producers, the Outlier Society team of Michael B. Jordan and Alana Mayo. This is an emotional and audacious piece of drama that is as timely as television gets, and we are excited to put it into a writers’ room and see where the team takes it.”