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November 18, 2022 24 min

Jimmy Smits of CBS’ “East New York” 


We are honored and delighted to be joined by Emmy Award-winning actor of stage and screen Jimmy Smits who after decades of work on long-running series like LA Law and NYPD Blue, is back on primetime in CBS’ latest procedural East New York. Jimmy reflects on his career and early inspirations, how it feels seeing a part of Brooklyn where he grew up reflected on television, and admits he didn’t expect to be back on a procedural at this point in his career. 


“I didn’t really see it in the cards that I would be doing a police procedural. A lot of had to do with what we have been through in the last couple of years with the pandemic, the empowerment of the woman’s voice and disenfranchised communities, and the insight we’ve had into law enforcement transgressions,” the actor revealed. “When I found out creatives that I knew were doing a show that mined this landscape, I was interested because I knew where their hearts were and that it was a different kind of take.”


When speaking on recent strides for diversity and representation in entertainment, Smits had this to say, “We’ve made a lot of progress but we’ve got a ways to go. Our population numbers are increasing and you’re seeing in the Latinx space that it’s not just one specific look or story. The moves that we have to make is to be more in control of the content. Not just Jimmy in front of the camera, but Jimmy and Juan getting together and talking about stories that interest them, writing those, pitching those, and getting them on the air, or in film or onstage. That’s where we need to make a leap to the next level, and it’s happening but I want it to happen quicker!”


New episodes of East New York on Sundays at 9pm ET on CBS, available to stream next day on Paramount+


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