The Tenderloin TV Series

Since people would rather be entertained than actually learn something, the History Channel has resorted to creating narrative programming. It’s probably why we’re doomed to repeat the mistakes of our past, but that’s besides the point. History has carved out a niche by creating shows that take viewers back to various periods of time, and their latest will see Sylvester Stallone getting behind the camera for a period cop drama set in New York at the turn of the 20th century.

Variety has word on The Tenderloin series in development, which was announced at the A+E Networks upfront announcements. A+E Studios is teaming with Sylvester Stallone’s Balboa Productions for the series that will make the Rocky star executive producer of the series. In addition, he’ll also be directing several episodes.

Here’s how the series is described:

The series revolves around the true story of Charles Becker, a corrupt New York City cop who lead the Strong-Arm Squad tasked with trying to keep order in a neighborhood overrun with ethnic gangs in the Tammany Hall era of New York politics. Becker wound up becoming the first — and to date only — police officer to face the death penalty for murder.

As you might have surmised, Becker is hardly a good guy in this story. He’s a corrupt cop who has to contend with several deadly Italian, Irish, and Jewish gangs in a neighborhood known as The Tenderloin (hey, that’s the title of the show!). If you’ve seen Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, then you know the kind of violence that embroiled New York during this time. However, this series sounds like it’ll take place a few decades after the setting of the 2002 film.

The pilot will be written by Sons of Anarchy and The Shield writer Stephen Kay, which gives us some hope that this series will be something worth watching. But Sylvester Stallone’s directing gigs have been hit or miss, so we’ll try to keep our anticipation in check.

At the very least, we’re given some confidence by the fact that this is supposedly a project that Stallone has wanted to do for awhile. History EVP and Head of Programming Eli Lehrer said this:

“Long before Miranda Rights or the fictional series The Shield, there was the very real Charles Becker, a police officer living by his own moral code. his is a passion project for Sylvester, who has discovered new facts on Becker’s case that shed new light on this infamous anti-hero. We look forward to joining forces with him to bring this incredible story to History audiences.”

Stay tuned to find out when you’ll be able to see The Tenderloin on History.

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