Filmed in Chatsworth, Calif., by DreamWorks Television L.C.C. Executive producers, Michael Pavone, Dave Alan Johnson, Eric Bogosian; co-executive producer/director, Charles Haid; producer, Ralph Winter; associate producer, Walton Dornisch; script, Bogosian, Pavone, Johnson; Sharp new series “High Incident” follows uniform cops at work in suburban Southern California town of El Camino; first drama from DreamWorks has a familiar air, but — pitted against CBS comedy block and NBC movies — could be a winner.
First episode (to be repeated March 5 in “NYPD Blue” slot) starts in the middle of some action, as officer Russell Topps (Louis Mustillo) breaks up a fight among adults at a children’s party. Several other stories filling the first hour range in tone from a sexual harassment complaint filed against brash Sgt. Jim Marsh (David Keith) to the arrest of a comic street entertainer (Kevin West) to a fatal assault during a seemingly routine traffic stop.
And there are others, including the rather tired stereotype of a woman cop (Catherine Kellner) who pushes extra hard — maybe dangerously so — to be treated as an equal among the men. And speaking of tired stereotypes, Cole Hauser plays Randy Willitz, rookie son of a supercop, whose first assignment pairs him with acerbic Marsh.
Steven Spielberg gets story credit along with producer-scripters Eric Bogosian, Michael Pavone and Dave Alan Johnson; whether or not he had anything to do with it, the most Spielbergian storyline deals with a youngster (Jameson Baltes) playing “Shane” against an adultbully (Mike Starr) when none of the parents will testify against him.
Other characters will develop as story proceeds; so far, Keith’s character is shown as a potential loose cannon, and Mustillo is (relatively) warm and cuddly — though tough when necessary, of course.
Director/co-exec producer Charles Haid (no stranger to cop shows) gets a lot out of his fine cast, and severalof the action scenes show above-average energy.