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Asian American Cop Drama in the Works

CBS has put an Asian American police drama series into development, Deadline reports.

The Bay will be produced by director-producer Larry Teng (Nancy Drew); writer-producer Yalun Tu (Wu Assassins); and CBS Television Studios. It will center around two newly partnered Chinese American police officers working to bring justice to the San Francisco area. The police offers will have to overcome their gender, generational and cultural differences in order to work together.

Tu is the co-creator and writer of Sent, a half-hour comedy for HBO Asia. He also wrote on Netflix’s Wu Assassins. Teng serves as the co-executive producer for CBS’s Nancy Drew. He was also the co-executive producer on Animal Kingdom, Supergirl, Graceland and Medium.

Teng, who also set to direct the series used to struggle with his Chinese American identity. According to Deadline, he was embarrassed to be Chinese growing up. His father wanted to teach him about Chinese culture but Teng wanted to play football and blend in.

His relationship with his identity changed as he began his directing career. While he was directing an episode of Hawaii Five-0 a set dresser told Teng it meant a lot to see an Asian American in the directing chair.

“You don’t know how much it means to us that someone who looks like you sits in that director chair,” the set dresser told him. “It gives us hope.”

Since then, Teng has embraced his identity. It is reflected in his work on projects like, The Bay.

Amidst Black Lives Matter protests, police dramas have received some criticism for the way they portray crime and law enforcement. Many activists feel that cop dramas exaggerate the amount of violent crime. Tom Scharpling, a former Monk writer, tweeted that writers and actors who have worked on cop shows have “contributed to the larger acceptance that cops are implicitly the good guys,” according to Variety.

Teng said on Twitter that the show will not glorify violence. He hopes that it will be an important part of the conversations people are having today.

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