There’s a new cop drama premiering Friday, July 11 on CBS, but it’s as far removed from CSI or Cold Case as it is from the last Canadian import to air in American primetime, 1994’s Due South. This one also comes from Canadian broadcaster CTV — who will air it in simulcast with CBS Fridays at 10 p.m. — but that’s where the similarities end.
“We like to describe it as an adrenaline-fueled police drama,” Flashpoint co-creator Stephanie Morgenstern said in their recent TV, eh? Blogtalkradio interview. “It's a fusion of several different cop genres but in a way that takes, I think, the most exciting elements of all of them. It's got the in-depth psychological profiling of profiling shows and it's got the fast-paced, high-octane elements of other SWAT shows that are more action driven. It's got the whole thing wrapped up into one package.”
“What's different about our show is it's a cop show that's really emotionally driven. It's not a straight-up procedural,” her co-creator Mark Ellis added. “They're emotionally invested in every case they run across. While they're figuring out a lethal solution to potentially diffuse a difficult situation, they're at the same time trying to save the subject.”
The first episode is based on a hostage-taking incident in Toronto’s Union Square that ended with a police sniper’s bullet. “What's the rest of his day like?” the writers wondered about the man who became a “public executioner.”
“The show really explores the human cost of heroism,” said Ellis.
The ensemble drama stars Hugh Dillon (Hard Core Logo, Durham County), Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars, Just Shoot Me), Amy Jo Johnson (Felicity, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) and David Paetkau (Whistler) as members of the elite Strategic Response Unit. The team rescues hostages, busts gangs, defuses bombs, and talks down suicidal people, among other high-stress, high-profile cases.
Dillon’s character is the sniper in the pilot episode and “he brings that wonderful Hugh Dillon intensity to the part which is great,” Ellis said. He added that prior to casting the former lead singer of The Headstones, they’d had some reservations about whether he would fit into a role that required a lighter touch as well. Those qualms disappeared when they saw him reveal his fun side in an interview with CBC’s The Hour. “He's a hell of a charming guy. He's extraordinary.”