Art imitates life in the new trailer for the upcoming Fox event series Shots Fired. Created and executive produced by Beyond the Lights filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood and Reggie Rock Bythewood (Notorious), this 10-hour limited series begins when an African-American cop (Mack Wilds) shoots and kills an unarmed white college student in a small North Carolina town. The series chronicles the upheaval that ensues, as the Department of Justice begins an investigation into this and another shooting—this time involving an African-American teen—led by Sanaa Lathan (Love and Basketball) and Stephen James (Selma).
The series is, obviously, inspired by the events of Ferguson and the ensuing turmoil, with Helen Hunt playing North Carolina’s governor and Richard Dreyfuss filling the role of the owner of a privatized prison, so the show is really looking to cover this situation from a variety of angles. And while it’s billed as a Fox limited series, the show is described as a 10-hour film and indeed is getting a splashy debut at the Sundance Film Festival next week, further blurring the lines between TV and movies.
The show certainly looks to be provocative, but not in an opportunistic way. Network television has a long tradition of being a place where topical issues are worked out in a fictional format, and it’s nice to see Fox finding room for a show like this alongside all the reality TV ratings hits.
Watch the new Shots Fired trailer below. The series premieres on Fox on March 22nd.