AMC Developing 1990s Chicago Drama Series From Ben Watkins With Ed Burns Set To Exec Produce & Co-Star


AMC has put in development Gang Leader for a Day, a drama series from Hand of God creator Ben Watkins, Ed Burns and Radar.

Written by Watkins based on Sudhir Venkatesh’s best-selling book, with Burns set to executive produce and act in a supporting role, Gang Leader for a Day centers on Sudhir, a wide-eyed, ambitious young grad student who enters the nation’s largest public housing project to conduct a survey on what it means to be “black and poor in America.” He’s taken captive by the notorious Gangster Disciples, whose leader JT issues a challenge: If Sudhir really wants to find out about life in the projects, he needs to experience it firsthand. What follows is a seven-year odyssey through an intersection at the heart of urban American life in 1990s Chicago. Gang Leader for a Day is a tale of two worlds colliding in one city and the unlikely brotherhood forged by two strangers at the center of it all.

Watkins is executive via his Blue Monday Prods. alongside Burns and longtime producing partner Aaron Lubin through their Marlboro Road as well as Radar partners Ted Field, Michael Napoliello and Mike Weber. Eli Dansky, Watkins’ producing partner at Blue Monday Prods., serves as a producer, along with Radar’s Maria Frisk.

Through Blue Monday Productions, Watkins and Dansky have six projects in development, including Connoisseur at USA and a Foxy Brown reboot at Hulu with Meagan Good attached to star.


Burns and Lubin, through Marlboro Road Gang Productions, are in production on the ensemble comedy Summertime. Burns, along with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, recently executive produced the TNT period cop drama Public Morals, which Burns wrote, directed and starred in.

Radar is in post-production on Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and the Jon Hamm film High Wire Act and is developing The Wheel of Time series at Sony Pictures Television.

Watkins is repped by CAA and attorney David Matlof. Marlboro Road Game Productions is repped by attorney David Matlof.  Radar and Venkatesh are repped by WME.

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