ABC’s Detroit 187 returned last week from a brief holiday break and with that comes the second to last of my on-set interviews. Tonight I have veteran actor James McDaniel (NYPD Blue), who stars as Sergeant Jesse Longford. The show itself is a police procedural drama with an infusion of humor and eye for the times; there’s even a running gag about cell phones. Detroit 187 is headlined by Michael Imperioli and McDaniel, and features a varied cast and intelligent writing. Hit the jump for my full interview with McDaniel and a bit more about his character.
Police procedural dramas usually aren’t my thing. I generally don’t see the appeal of that genre, but ABC’s Detroit 187 caught me by surprise. The show has a levity to it that is earnest about its setting and the current age we live in. Jokes about cell phones or the difficulty in finding a specific gun shell at a high-traffic bridge lighten the mood and keep the stories interesting. Add a veteran cast, including The Sopranos star Michael Imperioli and NYPD Blue’s James McDaniel, mixed with relative newcomers, and give them interesting storylines to work off of and you have a nice lure. When I got the opportunity to fly out to Detroit and do on-set interviews with the cast and crew, I eagerly accepted. Over the next several days we will have a new video interview leading up to the return of Detroit 187 on January 4th. So hit the jump to check out a recap of the trip and my interview with the lovely Erin Cummings.
When putting together a police procedural, there’s a couple routes you can go:
1) Stick with the tried and true, building on the foundation established Hill Street Blues, Law & Order, NYPD Blue, and countless others
2) Lay your own spin on the formula, such that each episode is more than just a case of the week
The latter is the quickest way into my heart, if not the public’s, as evidenced by ABC’s quirky (and short-lived) midseason effort The Unusuals. When ABC went back to the drawing board, they came up with Detroit 1-8-7 for the fall season. The show was firmly implanted in camp 2) as a mockumentary that tracks the adventures of a group of Detroit cops. 1-8-7 retooled over the summer, ditching the doc format, and is now stuck in the ether between 1) and 2). My review after the jump.