Smits To Star In ’70s Hip-Hop Drama

Baz Luhrmann and Netflix have found their leading man for “The Get Down.” Jimmy Smits will play Francisco Cruz, better known as “Papa Fuerte,” a South Bronx political boss who delivers services to his constituents that the city has failed to provide, such as jobs, housing and healthcare. The musical drama is set in a broken-down and beaten-up 1970s New York, and follows a rag-tag crew of South Bronx teenagers who have no one and nothing except each other. They are armed with verbal games, improvised dance steps, magic markers and spray cans. The show tells the story of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to hip hop, punk and disco. (Punk started in New York? Don’t think so.) Hot off his turn on FX’s Sons of Anarchy, Smits, a New York native, is no stranger to television. The Emmy winner also had roles on Dexter, NYPD Blue, L.A. Law and The West Wing. In the new series, Smits joins Dope breakout Shameik Moore, Paper Towns’ Justice Smith, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete’s Skylan Brooks and newcomers Herizen Guardiola and Tremaine Brown Jr. The 13-episode series will debut in 2016, and hails from Luhrmann, Shawn Ryan and Sony Pictures Television. Paul Watters, Thomas Kelly, Stephen Adly Guirgis, and Marney Hochman will executive produce alongside Luhrmann and Ryan.

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