Home Celebrity Steven Spielberg “Hands On” Casting for New Police Series Set in 1967...

I wondered why Steven Spielberg was in New York last night for the premiere of the new Broadway hit “All the Way.” I’m told the famed director of “Schindler’s List” is “hands on” casting his new TNT pilot with Ed Burns called “Public Morals.”

Spielberg and Burns have cast the great Tony winner Ruben Santiago Hudson in a lead role and are now combing New York for actors for the series. Spielberg is checking all the theaters in New York for the best and brightest. They will have no lack of choices. There may be more Spielberg sightings on the Rialto soon. (No one uses “Rialto” anymore– my nod to Leonard Lyons, Walter Winchell.)

“Public Morals” is set in New York in 1967, when things were a lot grimier than they are now. Burns’s dad was an NYPD cop in the 60s. The show will have personal tie ins for him and certainly a lot of verisimilitude. Starting with “Mad Men,” it seems like a lot of people want to go back to the 60s in New York. Crime was so much more interesting then, wasn’t it?

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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