“APB,” the new cop drama on Fox, follows the same financial plan as the failed “Pure Genius” on CBS. Both shows used the idea that a billionaire can save the world as the baseline for stories.
“APB” features Justin Kirk as Gideon Reed, a wealthy businessman who talks the city of Chicago into letting him run the police operations in one district. He’s convinced that new equipment will help curb more of the crime. The series is loosely based on events that took place in a police district in New Orleans.
The series isn’t suggesting that money can solve every problem.
“One of the things that we explore on the show and try to keep in focus, notwithstanding the hard-charging action you see, is the idea that a billionaire can’t solve things alone. He needs the participation of people that understand the problems that he’s trying to solve,” says Matt Nix, one of the executive producers. “So on the show, it really is a partnership between Gideon Reeves and his partner, Detective Murphy, and she brings the perspective of a cop who’s been on the streets and understands how things go and often has to school him because he imagines that an application of money and technology is all that the problem will take, and he’s often wrong.”
Kirk comes to the role of the billionaire investor with a long list of TV credits, including starring in the short-lived “Animal Hospital.” Detective Murphy is played by Natalie Martinez, who is best known for “CSI: NY” and “Under the Dome.”
Murphy will provide the skeptical perspective. Martinez sees the character being the bridge between the human side of police work and the new technology.
“The show has a good balance. You have the elements of technology and you have billionaires can’t solve everything, but you have a way how to work together. That’s what’s really beautiful about this show. It’s about solutions,” Martinez says. “It’s about coming up with different ways together, working together as a community, as police, as people involved to come up with really innovative new ways to solve things.”
All of this will unfold in Chicago, a city that in the real world is struggling with rising crime rates. There were 3,505 shootings in Chicago in 2016; 762 were murders.
Executive producer Trey Callaway stresses this series isn’t suggesting solutions to Chicago’s problems.
“This is clearly a city that, between gun violence, drug violence and gang violence and socioeconomic disparity of all kinds, is in the midst of a crime-ridden crisis. Are we going to solve those problems on ‘APB’? Absolutely not,” Callaway says. “Our job is to entertain folks. But to the extent that we are able to showcase some of those issues and weave them into the real fabric of our drama and use Chicago as this powerful potent character that we try to make it in every episode, the show benefits from it.”
- 9 p.m. Monday, Fox (KMPH, Channel 26.1)