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TCA Press Tour: ABC's new cop duo solves homicides on 'Detroit 1-8-7'

August 1, 2010 | 10:31 am


To prepare for his new role as homicide detective  Louis Fitch on ABC's "Detroit 1-8-7," Michael Imperioli took a class on interrogation techniques with a Detroit detective who was known for eliciting confessions from criminals.

What "The Sopranos" star learned was that a key to that officer's success was how much he cared about people in general. It's a quality Imperioli is trying to bring to the veteran detective that he plays.

"He didn't see the label 'criminal,' " Imperioli said.  "Like everybody else, they were raised by parents, and when they were kids, they weren't criminals, and because of certain problems and conditions in their environment, they went a certain direction. He was able to see that, and because he saw that, he was able to reach them in a way to get through to them."

In the pilot episode, Fitch gets a new partner -- Det. Damon Washington, whose wife is having their first baby on his first day of work for the homicide division. That character is played by TV newcomer Jon Michael Hill.

In a recent interview,  ABC's executive vice president of casting, Keli Lee, said she saw Hill on "Superior Donuts," the Broadway show written by Tracy Letts, for which he was nominated for a Tony.

"He was the breakout from that show, and I just made up my mind that we had to have him," Lee said. As soon as ABC picked up its first pilot, "Detroit 1-8-7," Lee got the ball rolling to hire him.

"He's very funny and we loved him and Michael together," Lee said. "With Jon, there's so much hope and potential."

-- Maria Elena Fernandez

Photo: Jon Michael Hill and Michael Imperioli in "Detroit 1-8-7." Credit: Guy D'Alema / ABC


Some TV pilots have bumpy flights on their way to premieres

Pilot view: ABC's new drama, "Detroit 1-8-7"