Helen Hunt, Richard Dreyfuss and Stephen Moyer have all joined the drama, which aims to reflect recent racial tensions and police shooting incidents that have spurred demonstrations and outrage across the country.
The impressive trio joins the previously announced cast that includes Sanaa Lathan, Stephan James, Aisha Hinds and Tristan Wilds in the event series that hails from Gina Prince-Bythewood and Reggie Rock Bythewood.
Inspired by recent events that have sparked national outrage and the Black Lives Matter movement, “Shots Fired” examines the dangerous aftermath of racially-charged shootings in a small town in Tennessee. Hunt will play Patricia Eamons, the fictional governor of North Carolina; Dreyfuss will play Arlen Cox, a real estate mogul and owner of a privatized prison who is intricately involved in the shootings; Moyer will play Officer Breeland, a seasoned veteran in the town’s Sheriff’s Department who gets caught in the middle of the investigation.
The new casting marks a continuation of big names being attracted to TV. The project marks a return to television for the Academy Award winning Hunt who starred on sitcom “Mad About You,” and has largely signed onto film projects since. Also an Oscar winner, Dreyfuss is coming off of ABC’s Bernie Madoff miniseries “Madoff.” Moyer most recently starred in FX’s “Bastard Executioner” and is most known for his work on HBO’s “True Blood.”
“Shots Fired” stars Lathan (“The Perfect Guy”) as an expert investigator who digs into the cases, alongside James (“Race,” “Selma”), who will portray a special prosecutor sent to the town by the Department of Justice. The pair must navigate the media attention, public debate and the social unrest that comes with such volatile cases, as they seek justice before the divided town erupts, and they are drawn into further political intrigue when they find their investigation manipulated by the politically fierce Governor Eamons (Hunt) who prides herself on not being a typical politician. As the first female and Democrat governor in the state, Eamons is in a tough re-election fight and the national media attention on the recent shootings in her state is making it tougher. Hinds (“Under the Dome”) will play Pastor Janae James, an activist who is seduced by the spotlight, and Wilds (“90210”) will play Officer Belk, who finds himself under investigation for a shooting, and tries to protect his family from the spotlight.
The Bythewoods penned the series with Gina Prince-Bythewood set to direct. The pair are exec producing the 20th Century Fox production along with Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo.
Billed as an “event series,” Fox has signaled possible future seasons of the project, announcing that Hunt has signed on for just the first season.
Hunt is repped by CAA; Dreyfuss is repped by APA; Moyer is repped by WME, Luber Roklin Entertainment and Dave Feldman at Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal Laviolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman.