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Lights, Camera, Whatever

Score one for Detroit.

Or, should I say, Highland Park?

On Wednesday, the producers of the possibly embarrassing but more likely just useless “Detroit 1-8-7” police drama announced they are going to film the whole series here. I'll believe it when I see the cameras rolling.

Good news or bad news? Is this another a chance to dump on Detroit a la The Karate Kid? (Check out the movie where Detroit gets slapped around for no good reason…I particularly like the part where Dre complains about moving to China, and his mom yells: “There's nothing left for us back in Detroit!”)

Back to Detroit 1-8-7. “It doesn't serve us as storytellers to slam a place,” said executive producer and creator Jason Richman in an article in Wednesday's The Detroit Free Press/Metromix. There, Executive Producer and show runner David Zabel (“ER”) says “a studio and stage sets for “Detroit 1-8-7” are currently being constructed in Highland Park before filming commences in mid-July.

“A symbiotic relationship between the show and the community is a must Zabel says, adding that ABC allocated a budget that will inject more than $25 million into the local economy through production costs for its first 12 episodes. The network plans to hire 190 full-time employees here, not including countless extras.”

“This is a crime show but we will explore various nooks and crannies in the communities and within that context there's a lot of opportunity to see what's positive in the city and see what's heroic about the people fighting for what's best for the city of Detroit," Zabel said.

The show is supposed to air in September. (I wonder how bad it will become during sweeps week…)

My favorite suggestion from the article's comments: “Maybe Kwame will be able to play himself…” Another noted that there certainly is enough true crime and unbelievable story lines here to make a great police drama. We're like “Law & Order” every day of the week around here: Jenny Jones murder, Jack Kevorkian, underage kids killing strangers, 7-year-old babies getting shot taking a nap…

Just to be sure, I added my name to the petition to boycott the show. It probably won't stop it, and it was pretty meaningless too. But I couldn't resist.

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  • 1

    I think boycotting this show on the grounds that it would portray Detroit in a bad light is a bit irrational. If I boycotted every national media outlet that portrayed (or mis-portrayed) Detroit in a bad light then I couldn't ever read anything on Time's web site.

  • 2

    I plan to boycott. Regardless of how the producers talk about how stories in this series have the potential to shed a positive light on life here, it's still a show about "Crime in Detroit." They are here to capitalize on our reputation, not improve it. I don't make a habit of boycotting media, but this isn't news media that's sharing important info I need. This is entertainment and it's expendable.

  • 3

    The national perception of Detroit is so off base, I'm happy this will film here. People will probably see things they have no clue exist here in Detroit. The riverfront, casinoes, buildings like the Guardian, and Fisher, neighborhoods like Boston Edison.

    Its a show, fiction, but at least they will actually film it here instead of Toronto or Dallas and call it Detroit.

  • 4

    I think the petitions are a little irrational also. There are crime dramas set in many cities, and they aren't protesting. It's fiction. It will bring employment and advertisement, as mentioned. Maybe the people signing the petition should be more concerned about the actual truth of it all, that there is a lot of crime here. A lot. Just like any major city.

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