Television & Film

CW, FOX Conjure Up Magic Police Procedurals


The CW is looking to add a new science fiction police procedural into its line up. Now in development is Criminal Magic, an hour-long drama from iZombie writer Graham Norris, executive producer Rob Thomas, and executive producers Danielle Stokdyk and Dan Etheridge.

Criminal Magic is described as The Departed-meets-The Vampire Diaries. The show revolves around two street gangs in modern day Los Angeles who fight the cops and each other to corner the market on the most profitable contraband existing: magic. An undercover cop and young woman hiding her own magical powers work to survive the alluring world of speakeasies, crime, and danger.

The CW joins Fox, which has a magic police procedural of its own in the works: Camelot, based on the legend of King Arthur. This story follows a graffiti artist named Art who teams with his best friend Lance and his idealistic cop ex, Gwen, in order to realize his destiny to fight back against evil forces that threaten modern day Manhattan. Fox was successful getting the project after several other networks showed interest in it.  Creators Dan Frey and Rue Sommer (Blacklist feature script Bleeding Kansas) have signed on write and executive-produce.

Due to the popularity of police procedurals, it would make sense to reach out to the sci-fi fans. However, there are a lack of shows offered compared to their non-magical counterparts. In 2011, NBCUniversal ordered a pilot for 17th Precinct, created by Ronald D. Moore, about a world where science was never invented. Instead of using oil, electricity and coal, the people rely on plant- and fire-powered magic. The police of the 17th Precinct use spells to collect evidence and information while using magic discs for protection and psychically access a “stream.” NBC passed on the unaired pilot for its 2011 fall season, opting for Universal Television’s Grimm. When the pilot leaked on to the internet, it was well received, with critics and fans liking it better than they did Grimm, which has survived for six seasons, ending in 2017.

Besides Grimm, the next closest show is Fox’s Lucifer, about the king of hell denouncing his throne out of boredom, opening a club in Los Angeles and helping the LAPD solve crimes. Fox recently renewed the series for a second season.

Let us hope that Criminal Magic impresses The CW executives enough to get it on air for the fans of both police shows and sci-fi to enjoy, or they may revolt with drive-by wandings.


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