The Runway – Your 2016 Pilot Survival Guide: FOX Dramas




Logline: Based on the New York Time Magazine Article, the show explores what happenes when and enigmatic tech billionaire makes a deal with a bankrupt, dying city to provide a privately owened-and-operated police force.
Cast: , ,
Creators: (Writer / EP), (Writer / EP), (D/EP), (EP), (EP), (EP)
Studios: ABC Studios / 20th Century Fox

This one’s in a spot of trouble. Creator Slack departed last month after creative differences. Reportedly, A.P.B. is being reworked extensively by its new writer-showrunner Nix.

I couldn’t get into this one. It feels a bit like CBS’ Bunker Hill, but in the world of crime instead of medicine. You’ve got a devoted cop, Murphy, paired up with a Silicon Valley genius, Gideon Reed, who privatizes a police precinct and brings in cool new technology to help them do their jobs better. While this might seem cool and awe-inspiring initially, what’ll happen when the gadgets grow old?

Characterization is where A.P.B. seems to fall short, and one hopes Nix has some quick fixes. It’s a classic premise pilot setup in that Murphy needs to make a decision to leave or stay, which is frustrating. Why even bother when the outcome is already known? 24: Legacy handles this setup more cleverly, with its protagonist on the way out and being compelled to stay because of circumstances. It’s not a faux choice, but a reversal.

Next, Murphy and Reed’s central relationship is interesting in theory. But in having Murphy be one of the few who supports Reed’s radical new methods, the pilot lessens the interpersonal conflict between them. There’s also a spark, of course, and the promise of future romance, but this feels more obligatory than organic.

Finally, this is also one of those ensemble-driven pilots that introduces all its supporting players in one fell swoop, making it rather difficult to recall who’s who. Particularly when the murder of one such supporting players is used to feed the series engine.

Of all the crime pilots this season, A.P.B. has probably got the lowest stakes of all. Murphy and her partner are on the tail of a crew of home invaders. Who cares? If all that technology were put to work stopping drug cartels or terrorists, I might have been on the edge of my seat.

Unless Nix works some magic in his rewrites, I struggle to see A.P.B. going to series this fall.

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