Last night I had the privilege of attending a private screening of the first two episodes of ABC’s American Crime and a talkback with Academy-Award Winning screenwriter & fellow New York University Gallatin alum, John Ridley. You may have noticed casting calls for American Crime on ClaimFame a few months back. Now, I am STRONGLY encouraging you to watch the show when it premieres on primetime TV on ABC on March 5th. Here’s why:
Rarely do I get so moved by a new broadcast television show. But this left me filled with faith in the entertainment industry and all the players involved. Why? Well, let’s just say American Crime is not your easy breezy 30 minute ABC sitcom. It is a real, gritty drama that delves into many of the deep issues we are facing today in America: Race, class, justice, violence, and the war on drugs and guns, just to name a few. Without revealing too much (not a forte of mine!), expect to see graphic violence, drug use, and heightened family drama. Plus, be prepared to empathize with all. This show is not the typical ABC Dancing with the Stars material that America is accustomed to.
ABC came to John Ridley with the idea for American Crime (writer & Academy Award Winner for 12 Years a Slave) and asked him to write this series. Yes, some cable channels like HBO’s The Wire have addressed similar issues, but NOT broadcast television. So, go ABC!
American Crime is rich in diverse casting choices and characters. I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say it doesn’t disappoint with a star-studded cast including Felicity Huffman, Timothy Hutton, Caitlin Gerard, and Benito Martinez, just to name a few. It’s set in Modesto, California in the present day and is centered around a mysterious murder.
To see a sneak peek check out the trailer here:
In the days of Trayvon Martin, the NYPD shootings, and most recently the UNC Chapel Hill tragedy, it is reassuring to know that the entertainment industry is opening up conversations about deep issues in America. Not only that, but by putting these stories and characters on primetime television, networks like ABC are making these issues accessible to wide audiences, and most importantly–in my opinion–to the youth of America.
We need to be watching these shows, we need to be having these conversations, and we need to remember our collective humanity. So, mark your calendars and set your DVR’s for March 5th for a mind-blowing pilot episode of ABC’s American Crime.