Jennifer Lopez is set to star in a new NBC drama, “Shades of Blue” that will have a home on NBC for 13 weeks of the 2015-16 television season, as the Hollywood Reporter noted on Feb. 21, 2014. The “straight-to-series drama” features Lopez as a “single mother and dirty cop recruited to work undercover for the FBI’s anti-corruption task force.” Ryan Seacrest’s company, Ryan Seacrest Productions (RSP) will produce the series together with Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions. That’s one ton of name recognition in one mutual effort.
This collaboration represents a more serious breakout for Seacrest, who has amassed a fortune via his signature showcase series, “Keeping up with the Kardashians,” among other programs that are not mentally tasking to follow. Adding a hopeful element of success to the series launch, the Hollywood Reporter notes the addition of Adi Hasak as series writer and Executive Producer.
Hasak is also in the spotlight today as the co-writer (with Luc Besson) of the new Kevin Costner movie, “3 Days to Kill,” which premieres this weekend. Initial reviews for this cinematic collective appear lukewarm, but then again, plot is not always important when many things starring Kevin Costner will guarantee box office—plot, script and setting aside.
The first time Jennifer Lopez and Ryan Seacrest joined forces on television, it was when Lopez filled one of the judges’ chairs on “American Idol.” The spot between foul-tempered, overly acerbic Simon Cowell and multitalented bass player and record producer Randy Jackson was a tough chair to fill. Through the years that “female judge chair” has been the domain of Paula Abdul, Kara Dioguardi, Ellen DeGeneres, Mariah Carey, and Jennifer Lopez.
Lopez is unquestionably multitalented as a singer and dancer, but her movie roles range from “Monster-in-Law” to “Maid in Manhattan,” to “Gigli.” Some would consider her starring role in “The Wedding Planner” starring Houston's own Matthew McConaughey her best movie acting but her portfolio is essentially lightweight and lighthearted. Thus, it is going to be quite a stretch to see if Lopez can carry off the role of a dirty cop who flips on others for the Fibbies, for an entire season.
I guess that is why networks take chances and producers take leaps of faith with vast sums of money. For my money, I’d try a movie-of-the week first and check the ratings. But then again, Ryan Seacrest is still channeling Dick Clark, perfect hair and all, and whatever the explanation that defies all logic, he still works all day, every day. Logic aside, sometimes things are not black and white; you just have to believe in shades of grey. As for “Shades of Blue,” producing new television is indeed a risky business. Will you watch?
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