nullCasting has begun on A&E’s pilot for what will be a pre-riots 1990s-set Los Angeles crime drama, titled “The Infamous,” which hails from Joshua Zetumer (writer of the upcoming X-Men "Gambit" spinoff), and will follow the collision between a reformed South Central gangster looking to leave his criminal past behind him (but they keep pulling him back in, I’m sure), and the LAPD detective who is determined to take him down.

LA Times 1992 Cover Story on the RiotsVanessa Bell Calloway has landed a series regular role, playing Ellie, a mother (likely to one of the two leads) and gifted singer who once performed with James Brown but now drives a city bus.

“Original scripted series have become an increasingly important part of the A&E brand,” said Elaine Frontain Bryant, head of programming at A&E. “By looking a few decades back in time, ‘The Infamous’ urgently explores the issues of racial tension and injustice that remain relevant today.”

No news on other casting yet.

A+E Studios is producing, with Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson’s Color Force, who are also executive producing with Joshua Zetumer.

Jacobson and Simpson are also behind another drama in which race will be of influence, premiering on the FX network tonight – Ryan Murphy’s "American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson."