“Almost Human” is set 35 years in the future, in a Los Angeles where human-looking androids work alongside flesh-and-blood cops. So naturally, one of the prime influences creator J.H. Wyman cites for the show is … “NYPD Blue”?
Yep. Wyman explained Thursday (Aug. 1) at the TCA summer press tour that he’s shooting for a mix of weekly crime stories and ongoing character arcs in the style of the late, great ABC series.
“This is a police drama. This is about hard-working, brave people on the front lines of a future that’s just a stone’s throw away, and we’re hoping that people care about them,” Wyman says of the series, which stars Karl Urban as a human cop paired with Michael Ealy‘s android. “… I’m more interested in knowing about these people’s lives [a la] great shows like ‘NYPD Blue.’ Nobody ever dogged it for being episodic, because the characters were serialized. You really invested in the characters. That’s what we’re angling for here.”
Wyman is coming off “Fringe,” which also started out as a more episodic show before steering into its serial elements in a big way, so the standalone vs. serial question was bound to come up. Wyman says in the early days of “Fringe,” they still hadn’t figured out how much the deep backstory would figure into the show. On “Almost Human,” he knows the crime stories will be front and center.
“On a week-to-week basis, telling exciting cop stories, we’re going into this as a cop drama,” Wyman says. “There are some stories we can tell that I guarantee no other show can tell, and we’re really excited about that. We don’t look at episodic television [as a bad thing] … we think it’s just part and parcel for the world we’re in.
“Will we learn more about the characters and invest in their lives? Absolutely. Will there be things that come up that are intriguing and you want to know more about them? I can guarantee you there will be. But are we going to tell a really great, compelling case every week that involves these compelling people? Yes we will.”
“Almost Human” is scheduled to premiere Nov. 4 on FOX.