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Detroit 1-8-7


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Premieres: September 21, 10pm on ABC

Stars: Michael Imperioli,James McDaniel, Aisha Hinds , D.J. Cotrona, Jon Michael Hill, Shaun Majumder, Natalie Martinez, Erin Cummings. (more)

Plot: Initially conceived as a faux-documentary series,"Detroit 1-8-7" strives for realism as it follows Detroit Homicide on challenging cases each week.

Why We're Excited: Shot on location in Detroit and steered by an amazing ensemble cast (helmed by Michael Imperioli and James McDaniel), "Detroit 1-8-7" is about as gritty and dark as primetime gets. But it manages to do something few of the broadcast primetime pilots in this batch have done, which is it makes to care about several of the characters without having them tip their hands too much. Mainly this statement applies to Imperioli, whose world-weary Detective Louis Fitch speaks to our frustration and empathy. Additionally, as grim as the story gets, the writers do manage to slide in a dose of humor - which, as veteran viewers of this kind of cop show know, is an absolute necessity.

Why We're Not: ABC hasn’t had outstanding luck finding a successful police procedural since "NYPD Blue" left the air, and it’s tough to see how this series will find its place in a lineup that leans toward escapist entertainment. The pilot's case isn't helped by its downer of an ending, either. Besides, if you want to see a raw, dark cop show, why not go straight to the hard stuff and rent "The Wire" or "The Shield"?

Trivia: Producers decided to scrap the faux-documentary approach following a real incident in Detroit in which a reality show crew was filming a police raid that resulted in the death of a seven-year-old girl.

See our picks for the shows to watch this fall.