Shades of Blue (which could just as easily have been titled Shades of Grey, based on its morally ambiguous tone) kicks off tonight on NBC.
The new cop drama stars Jennifer Lopez as Harlee Santos a single mother and tough-as-nails police officer at the heart of a tight-knit crew of Brooklyn detectives. Together they are led by the enigmatic Lt. Matt Wozniak (Ray Liotta), a caring father figure who looks out for his team in more ways than one.
Woz’ crew often operate outside the bounds of their jurisdiction, accepting bribes, running protection rings, and occasionally, as evidenced in the premiere episode, staging a shoot-out to protect an over-zealous young cop from prosecution when a bust goes wrong.
Woz’ methods may be suspect, but Shades of Blue goes to lengths to show that his intentions at least are honest. So what if a perp is accidentally shot if his shooting leads the team to his very guilty accomplice? So what if a drug dealer is denied his lawyer and is instead handed over to a local drug kingpin for street justice, so long as his uncut heroin never hits the streets? The end, as Haylee points out in the opening scene, justify the means.
However when Woz’ under-the-table operations come to the attention of the FBI, Harlee finds herself forced to spy on her ‘work family’ as a newly turned informant. Not only that but her FBI handler, Special Agent Stahl (Warren Kole), soon develops an unhealthy obsession with her.
Meanwhile, when Wozniak learns of a ‘rat’ in the unit he begins an all-consuming hunt for the informant, demanding that Harlee — the only person he can trust — assists him in his search.
The cast includes Drea de Matteo (Sopranos), Dayo Okeniyi (Hunger Games), Vincent Laresca (The Aviator), Hampton Fluker (Aquarius), and Sarah Jeffery (Wayward Pines). Santino Fontana (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) is also a recurring guest star.
In this exclusive video interview from NBC, Jennifer Lopez discusses the show in more detail, outlining the reason behind her decision to take on a TV project, how despite the anti-hero nature of her character, the audience will still root for Harlee, working with director Barry Levinson, Goodfella’s Ray Liotta, The Soprano’s Drea de Matteo and more.
Shades of Blue premieres Thursday January 7 (10:00 – 11:00 pm ET) on NBC.