Fox has revealed that it has issued a series order to Shots Fired, an “event” series developed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Secret Life of Bees, Beyond the Lights) and Reggie Rock Bythewood (Notorious, Dancing in September), set to air in 2016 and explore the aftermath of several racially charged shootings. The term “event series” means virtually anything these days, from miniseries to anthology series to just seasons with a short number of episodes. Hopefully Shots Fired will be one of the first two given the premise, which does not sound sustainable for, say, a seven-season run.
According to a blurb from the network, Shots Fired will star Sanaa Lathan (Alien vs Predator, Blade) “as an expert investigator who digs into the cases, alongside a special prosecutor sent to the town by the Department of Justice. The pair must navigate the media attention, public debate and the social unrest that comes with such volatile cases, as they seek justice before the divided town erupts.”
“Gina and Reggie have crafted a profoundly moving portrayal of a timely and sensitive issue that pervades our culture at this very moment,” said David Madden, the president of entertainment at Fox. “This is not only an important story to tell, but also an explosive mystery-thriller, and we couldn’t be in better hands both with the creative team behind this, along with the very talented Sanaa Lathan leading the cast.”
The show will undoubtedly have to tread very carefully given the sensitivity of the topic and its reflections in far too many real life tragedies over the past few years. Stories can be an excellent way to explore difficult concepts but only if those concepts are treated with respect and care. Here’s to hoping Shots Fired can pull it off.