Emmy-winning actor Courtney B. Vance (The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story) is set to star in AMC’s 61st Street from BAFTA-winner Peter Moffat (Criminal Justice, The Night Of, Your Honor). The courtroom drama will be executive produced by Michael B. Jordan and Alana Mayo of Outlier Society while AMC Studios will produce the series. 61st Street has been ordered as a two-season television event with eight episodes per season. It is slated debut in 2021.
61st Street is a very timely and relevant story that echoes projects such as Just Mercy, Clemency and When They See Us. It follows Moses Johnson, 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 police and prosecutors seek revenge for the death of an officer during a drug bust gone wrong.
Vance will step into the role of Franklin Roberts, a public defender in the twilight of his career serving the busiest courthouse in America. After promising his wife he’d retire to spend more time with their seventeen-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 (MotherFatherSon, The Night Of, London Spy). Moffat serves as showrunner and executive producer alongside J. David Shanks (The Chi, Seven Seconds, Shots Fired). AMC Studios Content Distribution will manage worldwide sales.
Vance is set to star opposite Cynthia Erivo in Genius: Aretha, the next installment of Nat Geo’s popular anthology series. He will also appear in HBO’s upcoming Lovecraft Country from Misha Green, Oscar winner Jordan Peele and his Monkeypaw Productions, J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot and Warner Bros Television. On the feature side, he can be seen in Stella Meghie’s upcoming romantic drama The Photograph and will appear in Prentice Penny’s Uncorked on Netflix, which will premiere at SXSW in March. Last year, he was announced as the new President of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation.
Vance is repped by WME and Darrell Miller at Fox Rothschild.