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Martin Scorsese/HBO To Explore 1970s New York City Music Scene, When Rock, Disco & Hip-Hop Collided

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act November 16, 2011 at 11:20AM

Initially announced back in October, though we missed it, Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger are teaming up to produce a yet-untitled 1970s rock 'n' roll drama series for HBO.
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Furious Five

Initially announced back in October, though we missed it, Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger are teaming up to produce a yet-untitled 1970s rock 'n' roll drama series for HBO.

Terence Winter (

Boardwalk Empire) has penned a script that THR says HBO is "very hot on," which Jagger originally conceived as a feature film project, not a cable TV series.

This morning, we have an official synopsis of the upcoming new series (though it's not terribly different from what was revealed previously); and I can also tell you that there are a few roles (series regulars, recurring and guest starring) in it for black actors. When you read the storyline, you'll understand partly why that is.

First, the official synopsis, which follows:

It's circa 1977 in an economically ravaged New York City. Richie Finestra is the cocaine-fueled head of A&R at American Century Music. A time when the disco music of Studio 54 competed with the punk rock of CBGB's and a new form of music called "hip hop" was on the horizon.

Regarding casting of black actors... what I know currently is that they're looking for an actor to play a young (19 year old) GrandMaster Flash, though that won't be a series regular role. 

Of the series regulars, a search is underway for a character named "Lester" (aka "Little Jimmy Little"), a mid-40s black man, and former singer, who is now a limo driver - I'm guessing Richie Finestra's. 

Of the recurring parts, there's a character named "Top Cat," 30-year-old black man who dresses in "pimp regalia" and works the door at a club in the South Bronx; and finally "Cece" - the 22-year-old "gorgeous assistant" to Richie Finestra, described as "smart and no-nonsense."

Other than the 4 I just mentioned, there isn't a lot else of significance for black actors; although that could certainly change, because this is just in preparation for the pilot episode. If reactions to the pilot are strong, and HBO orders a full season of the series, there could be more black faces added over time - especially given the contents of synopsis: Late 70s, New York City, disco Rock & Roll, hip-hop...! Need I say more... this baby should feature a sea of browness.

Though ya never know; Hollywood's historical revisionist ways certainly isn't anything new.

I'll be paying attention to this as it develops.


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