The Night Of the Next True Detective?

Next month SoHo will premiere a New York City crime drama from Oscar-winning writer Steven Zaillian that could be the channel’s most electrifying series since the original True Detective.

According to the publicity, The Night Of  “delves into the intricacies of a complex New York City murder case with compelling cultural and political overtones … through multiple, contentious points of view”.

It revolves around the brutal murder of a young woman on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, the initial investigation, arrest and imprisonment of a likeable, unassuming Pakistani-American college student, and his embattled lawyer’s efforts to prove his innocence despite a criminal justice system stacked against him.

Zaillian (Schindler’s List, A Civil Action, Moneyball) also directed seven of the  episodes — James Marsh (The Theory of Everything) helmed the eighth — while his fellow writers were distinguished novelist Richard Price (The Wire) and Silk’s Peter Moffatt.

“If the first two hours are any indication, HBO’s upcoming miniseries presents a return to dramatic form for the network,” said one critic.

“With a pedigree that includes names like Richard Price, Steve Zaillian and Robert Elswit, The Night Of is a compelling drama that sounds great and looks even better.”

The cast includes John Turturro (O Brother Where Art Thou?), Riz Ahmed (Four Lions), Michael Kenneth Williams (The Wire), Bill Camp (12 Years a Slave), Jeannie Berlin (The Heartbreak Kid), Glenne Headly (Lonesome Dove), Payman Maadi (A Separation), Poorna Jagannathan (House of Cards), JD Williams (The Wire), Amara Karan (The Darjeeling Limited) and Kevin Dunn (Veep).

The original star was meant to be the late James Gandolfini, who committed to the series when it was called Criminal Justice.

The Night Of will screen 8.30 Wednesdays from July 13.

Also new next month on SoHo will be the dark comedyVice Principals (9.00 Thursdays from July 21), starring Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down) and Walton Goggins (Justified); the stand-up special, Quincy Jones: Burning the Light (July 7); and seasons two of Ballers (8.30 Thursdays from July 21) and Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll (9.30 Thursdays from July 21).

Slated for box set weekends are The Tunnel (S2), Game of Thrones (S6), Veep (S5), Silicon Valley (S3), Orphan Black (S4) and Penny Dreadful (S3).

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