Showtime announced today that it has picked up a drama project from Academy Award winners Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. The pay-cable net will move forward with a one-hour pilot for “City on a Hill,” a crime drama set in 1990s Boston.
The project will be written by Chuck MacLean and executive produced by James Mangold and Jennifer Todd for Pearl Street Films, along with Affleck and Damon.
Gavin O’Connor will direct and executive produce.
Produced by Showtime, “City on a Hill” is based on an original idea by Affleck and MacLean. The announcement was made today by David Nevins, President and CEO of Showtime Networks Inc.
“In the early ’90s, Boston was rife with violent criminals emboldened by local law enforcement agencies in which corruption and racism was the norm, and then it all suddenly changed,” Showtime says in today’s announcement. “‘City on a Hill’ is a fictional account of what was called the ‘Boston Miracle.’ At the center is an African-American District Attorney who comes in from Brooklyn advocating change and the unlikely alliance he forms with a corrupt yet venerated FBI veteran who is invested in maintaining the status quo. Together they take on a family of armored car robbers from Charlestown in a case that grows to encompass and eventually upend Boston’s city-wide criminal justice system.”
Said Todd: “‘City on a Hill’ is a gritty thriller about severe corruption and gangs, the type of series that takes you back and centers around the crime-riddled streets of Boston in the early ’90s. We are excited to be a part of this project with Showtime and to partner with Gavin again.”
O’Connor added: “Chuck wrote a pressure-cooker of a script steeped in the tribal codes of a Shakespeare play — family, blood, betrayal, honor. His take on the ties that bind is handled with a deep honesty and insight. I see the show as a brawling thriller — and an intimate family drama — played out on the rough streets of Boston.”