Co-written by William Finkelstein and Mike Flynn and directed by Mike Robin, the project centers on Regina Haywood (Warren), the newly promoted deputy inspector of East New York, an impoverished, working-class neighborhood at the eastern edge of Brooklyn. She leads a diverse group of officers and detectives, some of whom are reluctant to deploy her creative methods of serving and protecting during the midst of social upheaval and the early seeds of gentrification.
Smits will play three-star Chief John Suarez, whose experience, commanding presence and strong moral center helps oversee the melding of communities and the precincts that serve them.
The Emmy-winning actor has a personal connection to the project. Born in Brooklyn, Smits grew up around the East New York section of the borough and went to school there. Additionally, East New York reunites Smits with Finkelstein, with whom he worked on NYPD Blue, and with Robin, who was a director-producer on the Smits-starring series, NYPD Blue and L.A. Law.
Finkelstein and Flynn executive produce East New York with Robin of Skyemac Productions, Christine Holder and Mark Holder of Wonder Street. Andrew Maher of Skyemac is co-executive producing. Warner Bros. Television is the studio.
Smits, who won an Emmy for L.A. Law, recently was seen in the feature adaptation of In the Heights. His series credits also include Sons of Anarchy and Dexter. He is repped by UTA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Hansen Jacobson Teller.