Are there going to be multiple "robot crime" shows on television soon?

Illustration for article titled Are there going to be multiple robot crime shows on television soon?

Last we heard, Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) was still hard at work on the pilot of the untitled "robot-on-human murder" show he's creating with Howard Gordon. But that may not be the only robotic crime show that could be on television in the next year or two.

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Top image: Cover of The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov.

Starz is developing a new show called Human Error, about a human cop who's paired with a partner who's an artificial human, known as a synthetic or a "synth." The veteran detective is faced with a case that's apparently simple but turns out to lead to a wider conspiracy. The pilot is being written by the British Philip Gawthorne, who also wrote a movie that's in development called Assimilation Protocol. Human Error is produced by Chronicle's Adam Schroeder and Ray Donovan's Bryan Zuriff.

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Can either of these shows live up to the proud legacy of Future Cop, Mann & Machine and other great shows? I guess maybe we'll find out eventually. [Hollywood Reporter]

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DISCUSSION

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John Hazard

Yancy Butler was so cute on Mann & Machine, though it was a silly show that was very light on the sci fi. It was very unclear what she was exactly- I think she ate food, for example.

She was sort of Cameron before Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Robots are hard. It's hard to make them believable and not silly. Star Trek didn't do robots much because it's about "the Human adventure", but it also never worked when they did try robot stories. Data was great. The Exocomps were terrible, as was the episode where B'Elanna adopted an alien robot on Voyager.

It's also thorny subject matter. Any story about robot rights can be an allegory for human rights, but it's been done to death, and why not just use humans? Also the question of whether a robot can be "self aware" or not is usually not really explored, just accepted if the robot is lovable. Again, human stories are better served with living beings. Should we care about manufacturing people?

I'd love to see it all done right, and maybe not with human looking Replicants.