“The Deuce” follows the story of the legalization and subsequent rise of the porn industry in New York’s Times Square from the early ’70s through the mid ’80s, exploring the rough-and-tumble world that existed there until the rise of HIV, the violence of the cocaine epidemic and the renewed real estate market ended the bawdy turbulence of the area. The series is partly inspired by the career of twin brothers, Vincent Martino and Frankie Martino, who were players in the Times Square world and became fronts for mob control of the volatile and lucrative sex industry. Franco will play both twins.
Simon co-wrote the drama with George Pelecanos. The duo will serve as exec producers with Nina Noble (“The Wire,” “Treme”) and Richard Price, who will also serve as a writer on the series, which does not have a specified episode order at this time. Marc Henry Johnson is a producer, and “Breaking Bad’s” Michelle MacLaren directed and exec produced the pilot.
Franco is also an exec producer, while his co-star Maggie Gyllenhaal is a producer. She plays a Times Square hooker with the street name “Candy” who is drawn into the fledgling porn industry.
Aside from Franco and Gyllenhaal, the cast is rounded out by Gary Carr, Margarita Levieva, Lawrence Gilliard Jr., Emily Meade and Dominique Fishback.
Simon, who most recently worked with HBO on the Oscar Isaac miniseries “Show Me A Hero,” also created the premium cabler’s “Treme” and “The Wire.” Up next for Franco is Hulu’s “11.22.63,” which is based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name and premieres this February.