Wendy Mitchell
September 17, 2009 AT 08:00 AM EDT

Spike Lee and Robert De Niro have joined forces with Showtime to develop a drama series set in the Manhattan neighborhood of Alphabet City. The Hollywood Reporter writes that John Ridley will write Alphaville, with Lee set to direct the pilot. The drama will chronicle the neighborhood’s gritty past in the 1980s, full of struggling artists, aspiring rappers, drug dealers and families.

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