Luna Lauren Velez, one of the core cast members of the original 1990s Dick Wolf cop drama New York Undercover, is set to reprise her role as Nina Moreno in the series reboot, which has a pilot order at ABC. The project hails from Wolf, Hand of God creator Ben Watkins and director Anthony Hemingway.
Velez is joining another New York Undercover alum, star Malik Yoba, who will again play J.C. Williams like in the original series. In the follow-up, Williams is overseeing the NYC’s Fourth Precinct and the next generation of detectives. As for Moreno, she has retired as a detective but still has ties to the unit.
Yoba and Velez’s return mirrors a similar move by another 2019 ABC pilot that reboots a 1990s New York cop drama in present day, NYPD Blue, which recruited original cast members Kim Delaney and Bill Brochtrup.
The original series, which aired for four seasons, starred Yoba and Michael DeLorenzo as undercover detectives, marking the first police drama on U.S. television to feature two people of color in starring roles. Velez joined in Season 2 and remained on the show until its end.
The reboot picks up 20 years after and will follow detectives Nat Gilmore and Melissa Ortiz as they investigate the city’s most dangerous criminals from Harlem to Battery Park.
Wolf, Watkins and Hemingway executive produce with Wolf Films’ Arthur Forney and Peter Jankowski. The project is produced by Wolf Films, Universal TV — where the company is based — and ABC Studios. The pilot will begin filming in early March in New York.
Velez appeared in Season 3 and Season 4 of ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder and has TV credits including HBO’s Oz and seven seasons on Showtime’s Dexter. She also was the voice of Miles Morales’ mom in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which won the Animated Feature Oscar on Sunday. She’s next up in the sequel to Shaft, starring opposite Samuel L. Jackson, and her film credits include The First Purge and America Adrift.
She is repped by the Lasher Group and Kraditor and Haber.