Having never met a controversial subject it couldn’t bend into the shape of a procedural, Fox has started development on a new series about rampant police corruption. Crooked comes from newcomer writer Robert Specland (whose other in-development credits apparently include a “revenge thriller” adapted from Johnny Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue”), and will center on the rot at the heart of a New Orleans police department.
Rather than focusing on systemic racism or the terrors of private police forces, though, it looks like the series will hang its Louisiana cop drama on the actions of a few bad eggs, presumably fried up with peppers and onions and served with a beignet as a tasty bit of lagniappe. Although Fox is promising an exploration of “the bonds—and corruption—of police brotherhood,” Crooked will primarily concern itself with the overturned convictions produced by a now-busted detective, whose various illegally arrested felons are released back into the world at a rate of one a week by the Giant Vending Machine of Justice. A new task force, led by a “mysterious outsider,” is then set up to re-clean the suddenly filthy streets.
Described as a cross between the soapy cop drama of The Shield and the procedural pleasures of The Blacklist, the show is being executive produced by Specland, working alongside Grey’s Anatomy’s Peter Horton. The two will presumably split their various producing duties equitably, especially the part where they have to take turns dodging calls from the leaders of the nation’s police unions, enraged at the pair for even hinting at the possibility that a police detective could ever be corrupt.