Fox has given a series pickup to “Shots Fired,” a drama that aims to reflect the racial tensions and police shooting incidents that have spurred demonstrations and outrage across the country.
The Imagine TV/20th Century Fox TV project from Gina Prince-Bythewood (“Beyond the Lights,” “The Secret Life of Bees,” “Love & Basketball”) and Reggie Rock Bythewood (“Beyond the Lights,” “Notorious”) follows the aftermath of racially charged shootings in a small town in Tennessee. Fox is billing “Shots Fired” as an event series.
Sanaa Latham, who starred in “Love & Basketball” and is pictured above, is attached to star as an expert investigator who digs into the cases with a special prosecutor sent to the town by the Department of Justice. Together, they navigate the media attention, public debate and the social unrest that comes with such volatile cases while also attempting to 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 Fox entertainment president David Madden. “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 Bythewoods wrote the story, with Gina Prince-Bythewood directing. They are exec producing along with Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo.
The project comes on the heels of a string of deaths of African-American men during encounters with police. Those incidents spurred the “black lives matter” movement as well as a counter response from those who say the heightened scrutiny has made police officers more fearful of doing their jobs.
Just this month, a trial began in Baltimore for officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American man who died of a spinal cord injury while in police custody in April.