FX views Powers, based on the acclaimed comic series by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming, as a potential successor to The Shield, the crime drama that in 2002 helped to establish the network as a force in original programming.
Set in a world where superpowers are common, the police procedural follows Christian Walker (Jason Patric) and Deena Pilgrim (Lucy Punch), homicide detectives in the Powers division who are partnered to investigate the murder of the popular superheroine Retro Girl (Carly Foulkes).
TVLine reports FX President John Landgraf told reporters Saturday at the Television Critics Association press tour that Walker “has a really fascinating, kind of epic, emotional journey, so what we saw is the possibility to do an interesting, different take on the cop show. It’s pretty hard to top The Shield or match that … because the bar is really high. But [we asked ourselves], ‘Is there the emotional weight to tell a seven-season story?’ And we think that with Powers there is.”
Written by Charles “Chic” Eglee (The Shield, The Walking Dead) and directed by Michael Dinner (Justified, Sons of Anarchy), the pilot also stars Charles S. Dutton as Captain Cross, Titus Welliver as Triphammer, Bailee Madison as Calista, and Alona Tal (Veronica Mars) as Zora. It’s being shot in Chicago, and won’t be finished for another five or six weeks. However, Landgraf already sees the potential of Powers to take television superheroes in a dramatically different direction.
“The superhero genre is ripe for reinvention,” he said. “Everything television has ever done in that genre is the equivalent of an 8 or a 9 o’clock show -– light, breezy, special effects-oriented. I’m not saying that Powers isn’t fun, but it aspires to be a serious drama, and it’s fascinating to me to try to reshape and reinvent familiar genres.”