The end has come for my string of on-set video interviews for ABC’s hit police drama Detroit 187. Leading up to the return of the show last week after a winter hiatus I premiered interviews with nearly every star in the show. We kicked things off with my trip report and interview with Erin Cummings, who graciously showed me a side of Detroit I wasn’t expecting. However, my positive feelings for Detroit wouldn’t have come about had Jason Richman not created the show. So, without further ado, hit the jump for the last of my video interviews with the cast and crew of Detroit 187 as I sit down with creator and lead writer, Jason Richman.
While Richman is mostly known for his writing for film, this is his first pilot to get green lighted and it has since turned into a successful police procedural for ABC in the Tuesday night timeslot. Considering how many pilots are made every year that never get the greenlight for a season, it’s never easy to know what will or won’t work on television. Having veteran actors Michael Imperioli and James McDaniel certainly didn’t hurt.
When I sat down with Jason, I could tell he had a sense of relief. Writing for film is a tough gig. Some films never get made (“put on a shelf,” as Richman says) or get twisted into an unfamiliar beast. Creating and writing your own television show is solid, consistent work. Unfortunately, the video is cut short due to some technical issue, but you can tell we had a great start. Below you can see the interview and the time stamps, and after that I will fill in the blanks on one of my nagging question that he answered but got cut off.
We begin by talking a little bit about Tron: Legacy. Just like D.J., Jason noticed my Tron Night bracelet and immediately wanted to know what I had thought.
- 0:30- I talk about how this is his first television pilot, now series, and ask if he feels he has a handle on writing for TV now and will continue in this area.
- 1:32- I ask about the inspiration to infuse the standard police procedural drama with humor.
- 2:42- Asked if he envisioned the great balance in the cast with veterans and newcomers when he first came up with the series.
As I mentioned above, a technical issue cut off the end of my interview with Jason, but I do remember a specific question I had that he answered. The show has a lot of twists and can throw the viewers for a loop at times. I will warn you now; this is a mild spoiler of the seventh episode. Anyways, there was a moment in the seventh episode of this season where a getaway plan includes escaping to a girlfriend in Lubbock, Texas. When the suspect buys a ticket to Dallas, Texas, they put two and two together and feel he is headed towards the girl.
However, being from Texas, I know that Lubbock and Dallas are not close in the slightest bit. That’s a six-hour drive. So I asked Richman if that was an actual gaffe or if that was intentional. He said that because the girl ends up being a fake in an attempt to divert the detectives’ attention, the suspect never knew the layout of Texas so it was his mistake. I have to admit, that seems like an air-tight explanation.
As I have mentioned before, the police procedural drama isn’t my cup of tea. I find them boring and uninspired for the most part, and there is a rash of them on television. However, this one manages to add in humor and heart that captured my attention. Having Michael Imperioli at the center of it all also helped quite a bit. If you haven’t checked it out, the show airs Tuesday nights on ABC at 10 EST. They are closing in on the last few episodes of the first season, so it’s not too late to crash course the series. Also, don’t forget my previous interviews with Jon Michael Hill, D.J. Cotrona, Natalie Martinez, Michael Imperioli, and James McDaniel.