11:15am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Ray Liotta, Drea de Matteo Among Cast of NBC's Jennifer Lopez Drama
NBC is rounding out the cast of its upcoming Jennifer Lopez drama, Shades of Blue.
Ray Liotta, Drea de Matteo, Vincent Laresca (24) and Warren Kole (Common Law) have been tapped to join the cop drama from executive producer Ryan Seacrest, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Shades of Blue centers on Harlee McCord (Lopez) and follows a tight-knit crew of police officers who are effective at keeping the streets safe but also corrupt when it comes to lining their pockets and protecting their own. When one of the officers is forced to become a federal informant, she must decide between her own family's welfare and that of her police family.
Goodfellas' Liotta, marking his return to series television following CBS' short-lived 2006 drama Smith, will co-star as Bill Wozniak, a lieutenant who is the enigmatic and resourceful patriarch of a tight-knit unit of corrupt cops, who steps outside the limitations of the law to protect his precinct. Wozniak effectively navigates his own moral code until he comes to believe he's been betrayed by one of his own. His all-consuming hunt for the informant drives him to dire extremes.
Sons of Anarchy grad de Matteo, who returns to NBC following her role on Friends spinoff Joey, is set as Shirley Nazario, a tough, outspoken cop who holds her own with the men in her crew, and yet her brashness covers her insecurities. She's a mother of three who insists that family comes first, but her suspicions and paranoia threaten to upend her personal life.
Laresca, whose credits include Graceland and CSI: Miami, will portray Tony Espada, both the bulldog and moral compass for his team. Fiercely loyal and devoted to his partners, his toughness hides the fact that he is a hopeless romantic who is secretly in love with his married partner.
Kole (The Following, Stalker) rounds out the cast as Robert Staal, a relentlessly ambitious up-and-coming FBI agent desperate to make a name for himself. His growing obsession with his asset jeopardizes his ability to make his case against a group of corrupt cops.
Liotta (who won an Emmy for his guest role on ER) is repped by UTA and Untitled; de Matteo is with Gersh and Untitled; Laresca is with TalentWorks and Ellen Meyer; Kole is with the Kohner Agency, Silver Lining Entertainment and Bloom Hergott.
Picked up straight to series with a 13-episode commitment for the 2015-2016 season, Shades of Blue has Adi Hasak (3 Days to Kill) attached as its writer and producer, alongside Lopez's American Idol colleague Ryan Seacrest and his Ryan Seacrest Productions exec Nina Wass. Joining them as fellow EPs are Lopez, her Nuyorican Productions exec Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and manager Benny Medina as well as ER's Jack Orman, who will serve as showrunner. Barry Levinson will also exec produce and direct the pilot. Production is slated to begin this year for broadcast during the 2015-2016 season. Universal Television, Nuyorican, RSP and EGTV will produce.
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