Police-based dramas are nothing new for CBS, as the broadcast network boasts some of the most-watched programs in the genre like Blue Bloods, FBI, and the incredibly popular NCIS and CSI franchises. Although a lot of viewers are familiar with those shows and their large ensemble casts, it’s a different story for one of the new additions to the CBS fall lineup, East New York.
The new series from legendary TV producer and writer William M. Finkelstein, premiered on the 2022 fall TV schedule in early October, and some out there may be wondering why so many of the actors look familiar. Well, in the spirit of public service, we’ve put together a quick rundown of the East New York cast and many of the places you’ve seen the actors before. Let’s get started before the latest episode goes live on Sunday night…
Amanda Warren (Deputy Inspector Regina Haywood)
Starting things off, Amanda Warren leads the East New York cast as Deputy Inspector Regina Haywood, who finds herself at the command of the 74th precinct in a working-class portion of Brooklyn.
Fans of the Apple TV+ original series, Dickinson, will most likely recognize Warren from her portrayal of Betty during the show’s three-season run. Other prominent TV appearances for the actress include The Purge, NCIS: New Orleans, and The Leftovers, as well as various one-off roles on the likes of Law and Order, This Is Us, Jessica Jones, and Gossip Girl. She has also appeared in movies like Seven Psychopaths, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and Mother!, to name only a few.
Jimmy Smits (Chief John Suarez)
Taking on the role of Chief John Suarez, Regina Haywood’s mentor, is Primetime Emmy Award and Golden Globe winner Jimmy Smits.
Throughout his illustrious TV career, which goes back to a one-off appearance on Miami Vice in 1984, Smits has appeared on decorated crime dramas like L.A. Law, NYPD Blue, Sons of Anarchy, and more. Outside of the world of cops and robbers, Smits has landed prominent roles on The West Wing, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and much more. Though known more for his TV work, Smiths has also popped up in feature films like The Jane Austen Book Club, The Tax Collector, and various Star Wars movies.
Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Officer Marvin Sandeford)
Ruben Santiago-Hudson shows up in the cast as Officer Marvin Sandeford, a father-figure for some of the younger street cops in the precinct.
Over the years, Santiago-Hudson has appeared on TV shows like Law and Order, NYPD Blue, Castle, Low Winter Sun, Billions, The Quad, and multiple others. He’s also completed voice work on a list of shows that includes Gargoyles and Spawn. Over on the silver screen, Santiago-Hudson has popped up in movies like The Devil’s Advocate, Mr. Brooks, American Gangster, The Invention of Lying, and Selma. In addition to being an actor, Santiago-Hudson is also an established writer, having penned the 2020 Netflix movie, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Kevin Rankin (Detective Tommy Killian)
Taking on the role Detective Tommy Killian is Kevin Rankin, who brings with him a great deal of experience on the small screen.
Throughout his career, Rankin has given memorable performances on shows like Breaking Bad, Justified, Trauma, Friday Night Lights, and Unforgettable. More recently, Rankin has appeared in the Lucifer cast as well as The Umbrella Academy and Claws, which ended its run in 2022. During that same stretch of time, Rankin found work on the silver screen as well, appearing in movies like Hulk, The Chaperone, Dallas Buyers Club, White House Down, Wild, Hell or High Water, and El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.
Richard Kind (Captain Stan Yenko)
Richard Kind shows up as Captain Stan Yenko, who becomes the executive officer in the 74th precinct just by throwing his name into the hat.
If you have watched even a few minutes of TV in the past 35 years, there’s a good chance you’ve seen or at least heard Kind in some shape or form. Throughout this career, Kind has secured recurring or main roles on shows like Mad About You, Spin City, Scrubs, Kim Possible, American Dad!, The Penguins of Madagascar, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Red Oaks, The Goldbergs, Big Mouth, Young Sheldon, and a few dozen others.
During that same stretch of time, Kind has popped up in movies like Argo, Stargate, The Station Agent, Obvious Child, and Tick, Tick… Boom!. His list of voice roles is just as impressive and includes some of the best Pixar movies like Toy Story 3, Inside Out, and A Bug’s Life.
Elizabeth Rodriguez (Detective Crystal Morales)
Taking on the role of Detective Crystal Morales in the East New York cast is Elizabeth Rodriguez, whose TV credits include landmark shows from the ‘90s, 2000s, and beyond.
Throughout her career, Rodriguez has appeared on Oz, Law and Order, Six Feet Under, and The Shield in smaller roles, but she is perhaps best remembered from her portrayal of Aleida Diaz in the Orange is the New Black cast. Since the conclusion of the popular Netflix show, Rodriguez has appeared on Fear the Walking Dead, Shameless, and numerous other shows. Her film roles include the likes of Miami Vice, Side Effects, The Drop, and the 2017 X-Men movie, Logan.
Olivia Luccardi (Officer Brandy Quinlan)
Olivia Luccardi shows up as Officer Brandy Quinlan, who volunteers to live in the 74th precinct as a way to improve relations between the NYPD and local residents.
Prior to landing one of the main roles in the East New York cast, Luccardi had prominent roles on shows like Orange is the New Black, The Deuce, and Channel Zero: Butcher’s Block, as well as smaller roles on the likes of Girls, House of Cards, The Jim Gaffigan Show, and The Bold Type.
Lavel Shirley (Officer Andre Bentley)
And then there is Lavel Shirley, who takes on the role of Officer Andrew Bentley.
A relative newcomer to the acting world, especially when compared to the rest of the cast, Shirley has only made a handful of appearances throughout his career. This includes a some short films like Grey and Juliet, and a small role on grown-ish.
You can see these actors and other members of the East New York cast in action when the show airs Sunday nights on CBS. You can also watching the show streaming with a Paramount+ subscription.
Stream East New York on Paramount+. (opens in new tab)
Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.