Police Shooting Drama 'Shots Fired,' Starring Sanaa Lathan, Picked Up to Series at Fox

The event series from Gina Prince-Bythewood and Reggie Rock Bythewood will debut in 2016.
Courtesy of FOX
Gina Prince-Bythewood, left, Reggie Rock Blythewood and Sanaa Lathan

A day after bringing limited series Wayward Pines back for a second round, Fox has made the call on another short-order project.

The network announced Thursday that it has picked up police-shooting drama Shots Fired to series.

The show explores the aftermath of racially charged shootings in a small town in Tennessee. Sanaa Lathan (The Perfect Guy) stars an expert investigator who digs into the cases, alongside a special prosecutor sent to the town by the Department of Justice. The pair must navigate the media attention, public debate and social unrest that comes with such volatile cases as they seek justice before the divided town erupts.

The series is being written and executive produced by married duo Gina Prince-Bythewood and Reggie Rock Bythewood. Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo also will serve as executive producers on the 20th Century Fox Television, Imagine TV and Undisputed Cinema entry. Prince-Bythewood will direct. The drama marks a reunion for Lathan with Prince-Bythewood, who previously teamed for 2000 feature Love & Basketball.

First put in development on Oct. 6, executives were already high on the first script and were rumored to have ordered a series bible with an eye toward going to series and bypassing the traditional pilot stage.

Shots Fired serves as Prince-Bythewood's return to TV following episodes of A Different World, Felicity and Girlfriends. For Lathan, the role marks her return to the small screen following Boss, Nip/Tuck and voice work on animated series Family Guy and The Cleveland Show. 

"Gina and Reggie have crafted a profoundly moving portrayal of a timely and sensitive issue that pervades our culture at this very moment,” Fox Broadcasting Entertainment president David Madden said in a statement. “This is not only an important story to tell, but also an explosive mystery-thriller, and we couldn’t be in better hands both with the creative team behind this, along with the very talented Sanaa Lathan leading the cast.”

For Fox, Shots Fired comes as ABC recently explored similar themes with Emmy-nominated John Ridley anthology drama American Crime, which returns next year with an all-new case. On the cable side, FX has anthology American Crime Story, the first season of which will explore race relations via the O.J. Simpson trial. Race relations and true-crime stories have been one of the hottest trends of development season. Shots Fired also arrives as broadcast networks strive to make television that better represents society. 

The project joins rookie live-action/animated-hybrid comedy Son of Zorn on Fox's 2016-17 schedule as the network will have additional holes to fill after stalwart American Idol wraps its run this season.

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