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Series / Detroit 1-8-7

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Detroit 1-8-7 is a police drama set in Detroit, Michigan. It follows six police officers in the city's police force as they go about their jobs.

The series premiered on ABC in 2010, lasting only one season.


  • Every Car Is a Pinto - Subverted; the car exploded because the suspect was involved in an arson and the trunk was loaded with gas cans.
  • Foreshadowing: They named one of the episodes "Stone Cold" for a reason...
  • Hollywood Healing - Washington is shot in the gut at the end of the first episode. By episode three he's healed well enough to run flat-out in a foot chase until he exhausts himself, with no side effects from the wound.
  • Hollywood Provincialism: In the title itself: 187 is the police code for California, not Michigan.
  • Mama Bear - Do not be the perp in a case where a child is hurt or killed unless you want to feel the wrath of the Lieutenant.
  • Mockumentary: The show's original concept was that a documentary crew was following a Detroit detective squad and the pilot episode was filled with characters acknowledging the camera and the lieutenant even borrowing the soundman's headphones to listen to the feed from Fitch's lav mic. This had to be quickly abandoned (and the show retooled into a straight procedural) after Detroit banned documentary crews from following cops around after a disastrous raid that resulted in the death of a young girl (it was alleged that the police were overly aggressive to put on a good show for the cameras).
  • Na├»ve Newcomer: Det. Washington, who is naturally paired with Louis Finch, the unit's surliest veteran.
  • Papa Wolf: Despite Fitch's estranged behavior, he will do absolutely anything to keep his son from harm.
  • Retool: The show was originally meant to be a mockumentary but was retooled into a straight procedural after the pilot, although the first few episodes (shot before the retool) kept some of the mockumentary elements.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Every episode follows two unrelated cases, and scene changes include a title card identifying which one they're switching to.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the pilot, the medical examiner's black eye is explained away as a result of her after-hours hobby: roller derby. It is never brought up again.