“APB,” a drama starring Justin Kirk as billionaire engineer Gideon Reeves, who takes charge of Chicago’s troubled 13th District after witnessing his best friend’s murder, premieres at 9 p.m. Monday evening on Fox.
“What we’re trying to do is present a sort of optimistic vision of what policing can be if people engage creatively and they bring an American spirit to engaging with the problems of crime,” executive producer Matt Nix said at last month’s Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour.
The series’ premise is based on a 2015 New York Times Magazine article on wealthy entrepreneur Sidney Torres who established a private police patrol in New Orleans that could be summoned by an app, executive producer Trey Callaway told City News Service.
Reeves develops an APB app to create an unprecedented level of connectivity between the public and officers.
Reeves also builds sophisticated police surveillance drones and gives his officers state-of-the-art squad cars, body armor, and sidearms with lethal and non-lethal firing capabilities, which are all based on technology available Monday, but not affordable to police departments, Callaway said.
“We never want the technology to solve all of our problems,” Callaway said. “In fact, in many cases, it creates new unanticipated problems. So that’s where we get a lot of our drama from.”
To Nix, “APB” is the story of the partnership between Reeves and Detective Theresa Murphy (Natalie Martinez) who “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.”
This series will also “explore the ways that this could go wrong,” Nix said.
“It’s not like privatizing policing is not necessarily a great thing,” said Nix, the creator of the 2007-13 USA Network spy drama “Burn Notice.” “This could get nightmarish if we’re not careful.”
“APB” is filmed in Chicago. Producers have worked closely with the Chicago Police Department “to keep our stories feeling gritty, grounded and authentic,” said Callaway, a producer of the 2004-13 CBS police procedural series “CSI: NY” and the 2016 CBS police procedural “Rush Hour.”
“Between violent crime rates rising and what many see as a crisis in policing we think there’s never been a better time for a series like `APB,” Callaway said. “It’s not just about trying to tackle an old problem in new ways. It’s also about trying to better understand what causes those problems in the first place.”
—City News Service
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