Jimmy Smits has signed on to the CBS drama pilot “East New York,” Variety has learned.
Smits joins previously announced series lead Amanda Warren in the pilot, along with fellow cast members Ruben Santiago Hudson, Richard Kind, Lavel Schley, and Olivia Luccardi.
In the pilot, Regina Haywood (Warren) is 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 star as 3-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 role brings Smits back to the world of broadcast police dramas, after he previously starred in the ABC drama series “NYPD Blue.” He is also known for his roles on the series “LA Law” as well as “Sons of Anarchy” and “Dexter” among others. On the film side, Smits recently starred in the film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights” in the role of Kevin Rosario.
Smits is repped by UTA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners, and Hansen Jacobson.
William Finkelstein and Mike Flynn are the writers and executive producers on “East New York.” Mike Robin of Skyemac Productions and Christine Holder and Mark Holder also executive produce. Andrew Maher of Skyemac co-executive produces. Warner Bros. Television is the studio. Smits previously worked with Finkelstein on “NYPD Blue” and with Robin on both “LA Law” and “NYPD Blue.”