Chris Rock has just booked his first TV series regular job in nearly a decade.
The comedian, former Oscar host and actor has signed on to star in the officially greenlighted fourth season of Noah Hawley’s FX anthology Fargo. The role marks his first full-time TV gig since UPN’s Everybody Hates Chris, as well as his return to FX, where he previously executive produced the talk show Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell.
“I’m a fan of Fargo and I can’t wait to work with Noah,” Rock said.
In speaking with reporters Friday morning at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour, FX CEO John Landgraf said Hawley was the one who reached out to Rock and the duo wound up having lunch, during which time the showrunner explained what season four was about and the actor “signed on right away.”
Season four will tell a story of immigration and assimilation, and the things people do for money. In typical Fargo fashion, it’s a story of decent people who are probably in over their heads. Production on season four will begin in 2019. A return date has not yet been determined.
Here’s the official FX description: “Season four of Fargo is set in 1950, at the end of two American migrations — that of Southern Europeans from countries like Italy, who came to the U.S. at the turn of the last century and settled in northern cities like New York and Chicago — and African-Americans who left the South in great numbers to escape Jim Crow and moved to those same cities — you saw a collision of outsiders, all fighting for a piece of the American dream. In Kansas City, Missouri, two criminal syndicates have struck an uneasy peace. One Italian, one African-American. Together they control an alternate economy — that of exploitation, graft and drugs. This too is the history of America. To cement their peace, the heads of both families have traded their eldest sons.”
Rock will play the head of one family, a man who in order to prosper has surrendered his oldest boy to his enemy and who must in turn raise his son’s enemy as his own. It’s an uneasy peace, but profitable. And then the head of the Kansas City mafia goes into the hospital for routine surgery and dies. And everything changes.
The casting comes after Rock recently wrapped his international Total Blackout Tour, his first in nine years. That led to a pair of Netflix specials — for which he was paid an eye-popping $20 million each. On the TV side, his credits include executive producing Robin Thede’s The Rundown for BET. On the feature side, he recently reunited with Adam Sandler for Netflix’s The Week Of. His credits include writing, directing and starring in two other films — I Think I Love My Wife and Head of State.
Rock is repped by ICM Partners, Untitled and Morris Yorn.