by Jim McFarlin
Though the “official” word won’t be announced until ABC makes its fall season upfront presentation to advertisers Tuesday, May 17, it’s impossible to keep a secret in the television business: According to numerous media sources, 1-8-7, the first-year police procedural drama starring Michael Imperioli and James McDaniel and shot largely on location in Detroit, has been canceled along with a slew of the network’s other underperforming series.
In all, ABC dumped seven existing shows on Friday the 13th, including the long-running, Emmy-winning family drama Brothers & Sisters and the sophomore sci-fi saga V, the rebooting of a 1983 miniseries that premiered in 2009 to great hype and high ratings. No Ordinary Family, Off the Map, Mr. Sunshine and Better With You also were shown the door, while the network opted to renew the new sitcom Happy Endings and the Dana Delany crime drama Body of Proof for second seasons.
With Paul Lee, former head of the ABC Family channel, replacing Stephen McPherson last summer as chief of the ABC Entertainment Group, it was widely speculated that most series brought to the network by the McPherson regime might be in jeopardy. Maybe Detroit 1-8-7 was a star-crossed effort from the beginning: Detroit is one of the few cities in America where "1-8-7" is not the police code for "homicide."
On his Twitter feed Friday, actor Shaun Majumder, who played Det. Vikram Mahajan on the series, wrote, “Well, it looks like Detroit 187 is finished on ABC. Here’s to a great season with an incredible cast. Thankful for what we did. Tnx Detroit!”
Karen Dumas, chief communications officer for the city of Detroit, said, "We are very disappointed that the show was canceled before it realized its true potential. The show and cast were a great asset to our city. Both will be missed."
The Detroit connection at ABC has not ended, however: Among the new shows being picked up by the network is a new sitcom from comedian Tim Allen, who ruled ABC in the ‘90s with Home Improvement.
In other major TV news, Ashton Kutcher has been tabbed to replace Charlie Sheen as co-star of TV’s top-rated comedy, CBS’s Two and a Half Men, beginning this fall. Sheen’s response? “Kutcher is a sweetheart and a brilliant comedic performer,” he wrote TMZ. “Oh, wait, so am I.”