“Battle Creek” is a new take on the buddy-cop genre, starring Josh Duhamel and Dean Winters. Hailing from “Breaking Bad’s” Vince Gilligan and “House M.D.” vet David Shore, the series bows March 1 on CBS.
The quirky drama is set in Battle Creek, Mich., population 50,000, where a jaded detective, Russ Agnew (Winters), reluctantly partners with charming FBI Agent Milt Chamberlain (Duhamel) to solve crimes. Shore, who serves as showrunner and exec producer, says the setting is one of the ways the show differentiates itself from others of its kind.
“In the writers room, if we came up with an idea that would be a great ‘Law & Order’ episode, we just didn’t do it,” Shore, who worked on the famed procedural show for two years, said on a recent conference call with Variety.
Shore explained that while the writers are looking for ideas more specific to a small community, that doesn’t belittle the scale of the storylines. “If anything, there are higher stakes because everything’s a little more personal,” he said.
The pilot was created by Gilligan, who’s also at the helm of “Bad” prequel “Better Call Saul,” but since penning the script, Shore has taken over the reins for the most part. Gilligan “launched us, and protected us,” Shore said.
Winters explained he took the role because the show felt fresh. He said, “You’re got these two characters together who have a lot of respect for each other, but they’re not buddies, to say the least.”
Duhamel, on the other hand, did strike a comparison to another buddy-cop show. “Turner and Hooch,” Duhamel joked, referring to Tom Hanks’ 1989 puppy dog detective comedy.
Without missing a beat, Winters quipped, “Josh would be Hooch.”