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‘Snowfall’ Teaser: John Singleton Tackles the First Crack Cocaine Epidemic in 1980s Los Angeles

The FX series will premiere this summer.




This summer, winter isn’t just coming on HBO. Over on FX, it’s going to snow.

John Singleton, known for “Boyz N the Hood,” “Higher Learning” and “Baby Boy,” is turning his lens to the small screen for FX’s “Snowfall.” As the series creator, he brings his knowledge of South Central Los Angeles to this examination of the first crack cocaine epidemic in L.A. and its ultimate impact on our culture.

Set in the summer of 1983, the series follows multiple characters and storylines that converge over crack cocaine. Franklin Saint (Damson Idris) is a young South Central drug dealer who realizes that weed isn’t really getting him where he wants to be, and Mexican wrestler Gustavo Zapata (Sergio Peris-Mencheta) is caught up in a power struggle with a crime family. Meanwhile, Lucia Villanueva (Emily Rios) is a daughter of a crime lord. Finally, a CIA operative named Teddy McDonald (Carter Hudson), can’t seem to outrun his dark past and begins a below-the-table operation to fund the Nicaraguan Contras.

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Although the characters are fictional, the show did do its research when it came to the various stories. Series showrunner Dave Andron (“Justified”) told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour in January, “We are operating in three very distinct worlds in this show. We’re in South Central, we’re in the CIA world, and we’re also in East Los Angeles as well. And it was really important to us to […] be really thorough about all of it. So, certainly, obviously, starting with South Central, which is where most of our show takes place, this came from John. And so, we couldn’t ask for a better resource, really, than that for the authenticity of that world and being thorough.”

“We had [crime novelist] Walter Mosley in our writers’ room, which was incredible, another really phenomenal resource,” Andron continued. “You know, for the CIA world we are using the same consultant, aside from the reading we did in ‘The Dark Alliance,’ the book and those articles, the same CIA consultant that ‘The Americans’ uses. We have one of our writers, both her parents are CIA officers, to make sure that world feels authentic. And then, we had another consultant whose name is Luis Rodriguez, who is the Poet Laureate of Los Angeles, who was a Chicano banger, gangbanger, going back to the ’50s, and is really steeped in that culture.”

Snowfall is created by John Singleton & Eric Amadio and Dave Andron and executive produced by Singleton, Andron, Thomas Schlamme, Amadio, Michael London and Trevor Engelson.

Check out the gritty and merciless teaser trailer for “Snowfall” below:

“Snowfall” will premiere this summer on FX.

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