'American Crime' Season 2 Will Explore A New Crime

by Kayla Hawkins

Out of all of the midseason shows this year, one of the most ambitious was American Crime on ABC. And, as reported by Entertainment Weekly, American Crime was picked up for Season 2 on May 12 by ABC president Paul Lee, who included it in his list of shows that would be getting a second season. The shortened season will likely be repeated, as they're bringing back some of the wildly successful actors from Season 1 — though Lee didn't specify which ones — but there's no news yet on whether it will remain a midseason replacement or if it will be placed in the fall. One thing is clear, however: ABC has no problem with American Crime's somewhat limited ratings, and wants to stay in the American Crime business. American Crime will be wrapping up its first season on May 14, but when Season 2 goes back into production, it will no longer be following the same characters. Instead, it will move on to a new crime and tell a new, self-contained story, kind of like American Horror Story. [UPDATE: Entertainment Weekly reports that Season 2 will premiere on Jan. 6.]

Creator of American Crime, the screenwriter John Ridley (who also wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay for 12 Years a Slave), will be splitting his 2015-16 between Season 2 of Crime and a mysterious project for Marvel Studios, also according to EW, not unlike how American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy shuttles back and forth between his multiple projects. And it doesn't necessarily mean that American Crime will decline somehow in quality. After all, a lot of people (me) think that American Horror Story's second season, Asylum, was its best (I think this).

Lee, in his statements about American Crime Season 2, promised that the show will be able to continue breaching difficult topics without continuing the current plot, "It’s a completely different scenario and a completely different crime, even placed in a different part of America." So where could they go and what could that crime be? Given the past year, there are plenty of options — and some things they could stand to change.

Conflict With The Police

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Obviously, the conflicts between the cops and citizens have reached a fever pitch. I think a straightforward retelling of a real unjust cop killing might be unfair for people like Michael Brown's family, who shouldn't have their personal details thinly veiled for television. But as more and more of these stories come to light, the conflict between cops armed with heavy artillery and frequently unarmed (and frequently black) citizens could stand to be discussed. A cop on trial for some misuse of power could be an interesting spin on the crime in American Crime.

The Struggles Of Civil Servants

I know there are plenty of shows about cops and public defenders, but there are more angles that aren't really explored. Low pay, long hours, tons of work — it must be hard if things fall through the cracks or to devote 100 percent to one of a dozen cases.

Setting The Show In Chicago

It's just as segregated as Southern California, and has issues with gang warfare, drugs, and major problems with gun control. And it's full of major American landmarks that would be recognizable to viewers.

Workers Fighting For Fair Compensation

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Poorly paid workers who have to work multiple low paying jobs is a powder keg. A single mother might not have the health insurance to save the victim of a crime in her family, or a desperate person could resort

White People Who Aren't As Privileged As The Skokies

I know the Skokies are supposed to stand in as the typical TV protagonists, but there's a whole nation of non-wealthy white communities, and it would be interesting to see the intersection of race and class with another crime that crosses two racial communities that aren't so expected by TV viewers.

The Failure Of The War On Drugs

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Exploring the results of a drug bust on multiple characters and their families could be an interesting way to explore how many people are incarcerated for seemingly petty drug charges, or how incorrectly placed drug busts can often injure totally innocent people.

Whatever topic American Crime Season 2 chooses to dive into, there have been plenty of recent events that have shown that the US has systemic issues that stem from all areas of the government, economy, and culture that can inspire a whole new season with all new characters.

Image: Ryan Green/ABC; Giphy (3); Getty Images