Like a straitlaced Asian police officer in an awkward partnership with a foulmouthed black LAPD detective, Warner Bros. Television is attempting to pair the Rush Hour film series with primetime television, in hopes that their differences similarly produce results. Deadline reports that Brett Ratner and fellow Rush Hour producer Arthur Sarkissian have teamed up with Cougar Town’s Bill Lawrence and Blake McCormick for their own unlikely ride-along, crafting a series that will similarly concern a “stoic, by-the-book” Hong Kong police officer working an L.A. case with “a cocky black LAPD officer… who has no interest in a partner.” No doubt Ratner, Lawrence et al. are already hilariously bickering over culture clashes, and how to portray them for an hour every single week without the very specific chemistry of Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan.
While rumors of a fourth Rush Hour film have been floated for years— including Sarkissian’s vow in 2012 to return the series to the “down-to-earth, gritty” realism that made the first Rush Hour so popular—those have waned recently, likely because we still need time to heal from Ferguson. But making a TV version of an action movie about a sassy black cop outside his comfort zone—then watching that TV version fail—was just the step Ratner needed to finally get Beverly Hills Cop 4 made. Perhaps this is another plan just crazy enough to work, like pairing two cops of different ethnicities.