Gritty explorations of the Boston criminal world has been a signature of film, whether it be The Departed, The Town, or many others. But now Boston cops and robbers are coming to TV with Showtime’s City on a Hill.
Based on an original idea from executive producer Ben Affleck and creator Chuck MacLean, the new series is set in early 1990s Boston, where corruption and racism was the norm in local law enforcement. In this fictional account, an assistant district attorney Decourcy Ward (Aldis Hodge) forms an unlikely alliance with a corrupt, yet highly respected FBI veteran Jackie Rhodes (Kevin Bacon) to take down a family of armored car robbers, and in doing so, subvert the city’s entire criminal justice system.
“Both of them are trying to figure the other out and still maintain a sense of themselves,” executive producer Tom Fontana (Oz) explained to reporters at Thursday’s Television Critics Association panel. “It’s a very mixed evolution on both of their parts.”
For Bacon, who previously starred in the Boston-set Mystic River, the live wire agent was the chance for something new. “I really don’t feel like I’ve been Jackie before,” says Bacon, who referenced how little his The Following character would talk. “Jackie can’t shut up. I start talking from the beginning and I keep talking all the way through the ending. That’s one of the things I love about him.”
Teased Boston native Jonathan Tucker (Kingdom) of City: “It is very gritty, it is very violent, it is very visceral.” Adds Bacon, “There isn’t much on television that is in this pocket. Nothing that quite felt like this.”
City on a Hill premieres June 16. Watch the first trailer above.