Fox announced this afternoon it's picking up a series order of Shots Fired, an event drama directed by veteran Gina Prince-Bythewood and co-written with her husband Reggie. The show will try to capture America's simmering racial tension through the prism of a "racially charged" police shooting in a Tennessee small town. According to Variety, Prince-Bythewood and her Love & Basketball star Sanaa Lathan are reuniting for the show, in which Lathan will play the expert tasked with investigating the shooting. The remainder of the cast hasn't yet been revealed. At one point in its development, the show was known as Indictment; it's unclear if any other details regarding its plot or development have changed.
The show is being greenlit in the wake of a wave of troubling, poorly documented police killings, a phenomenon that has disproportionately affected young black boys and men. The deaths of men like Laquan McDonald, Michael Brown, and Freddie Gray have fuelled the rise of the Black Lives Matter activist movement and renewed calls for greater vigilance and gun control around the country. Shots Fired won't be the first Fox show to reference the movement's outrage and goals: Empire's second season has included footage of fictionalized protests, and its characters have dealt with — and manipulated — police brutality. (When Cookie Lyon is taken to jail in a mid-season episode, she yells, "If I die in police custody, I did not commit suicide," a reference to the death of Sandra Bland this July.) Empire executive producer Brian Grazer is also producing Shots Fired.
"Gina and Reggie have crafted a profoundly moving portrayal of a timely and sensitive issue that pervades our culture at this very moment," said Fox entertainment president David Madden in a statement. "We couldn't be in better hands both with the creative team behind this, along with the very talented Sanaa Lathan leading the cast."