Shots Fired

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Shots Fired
Shots Fired Title Card.png
Created by
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes10 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)Gina Prince-Bythewood
Running time44 minutes
Production company(s)
Original networkFox
Original releaseMarch 22 (2017-03-22) –
May 24, 2017

Shots Fired is an American ten-part drama television miniseries that aired on Fox from March 22, to May 24, 2017.[1]


After an unarmed white man is shot in a traffic stop by an African-American police deputy, the Justice Department opens an investigation. The investigator and special prosecutor, while studying the shooting, learn that the police are ignoring the murder of an African-American teenager.[2][3]


Main cast[edit]


  • Edwina Findley as Shirlane, a local reporter
  • Shamier Anderson as Maceo Terry, Preston's brother and an NFL star.
  • Kylen Davis as Shawn Campbell, the younger son of Shameeka Campbell.
  • Kelvin Harrison Jr. as Joey Campbell, the son of Shameeka Campbell killed by Deputy Beck
  • Marqus Clae as Corey, a witness connected to Joey's shooting
  • John Beasley as Mr. Dabney, a local business owner
  • Laila Lockhart Kraner as Kai, Ashe's daughter
  • Angel Bonanni as Angel, Ashe's estranged husband
  • Markice Moore as Lyndon

Guest stars[edit]



On December 10, 2015, Fox announced that Shots Fired was picked up to series status. Gina Prince-Bythewood and Reggie Rock Bythewood created the series as a drama that aimed to reflect the racial tensions and police shooting incidents that have spurred demonstrations and outrage across the United States. Gina and Reggie will serve as executive producers along with Francie Calfo and Brian Grazer.[5]


In March 2016, crews were filming in Kannapolis, North Carolina. They were expected to continue work in the area through July.[6] Filming took place in Gastonia[2] and Salisbury in April 2016. The Rowan County courthouse became the Gate County Courthouse, and a real WJZY news van appeared in a scene.[7] Other scenes were filmed in Concord, Mooresville and Charlotte. In May, James B. Duke Memorial Library at Johnson C. Smith University played the role of the library at North Carolina State University.[8]


It was announced in December 2015 that Sanaa Lathan was cast as Ashe Akino.[9] In February 2016, DeWanda Wise was cast as Shameeka Campbell and Conor Leslie was cast as Sarah Ellis.[10][11] In March 2016, Stephan James was cast as Preston Terry;[12] Tristan Wilds and Aisha Hinds were cast as Officer Belk (Beck) and Pastor Janae James, respectively;[13] Helen Hunt, Richard Dreyfuss, and Stephen Moyer were cast as Patricia Eamons, Arlen Cox, and Officer Breeland, respectively;[14] Will Patton was cast as Sheriff Daniel Platt;[15] Jill Hennessy was cast as Alicia Carr;[16] and Clare-Hope Ashitey was cast as Kerry Beck.[17]


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
1"Hour One: Pilot"Gina Prince-BythewoodGina Prince-Bythewood & Reggie Rock BythewoodMarch 22, 2017 (2017-03-22)1AZG014.70[18]
2"Hour Two: Betrayal of Trust"Millicent SheltonMick BetancourtMarch 29, 2017 (2017-03-29)1AZG023.77[19]
3"Hour Three: Somebody's Son"Anthony HemingwayDenitria Harris-LawrenceApril 5, 2017 (2017-04-05)1AZG033.66[20]
4"Hour Four: Truth"Malcolm D. LeeReggie Rock BythewoodApril 12, 2017 (2017-04-12)1AZG043.60[21]
5"Hour Five: Before the Storm"Kasi LemmonsMarissa Jo CerarApril 19, 2017 (2017-04-19)1AZG053.19[22]
6"Hour Six: The Fire This Time"Jonathan DemmeJeff StetsonApril 26, 2017 (2017-04-26)1AZG063.33[23]
7"Hour Seven: Content of Their Character"John David ColesJ. David ShanksMay 3, 2017 (2017-05-03)1AZG073.10[24]
8"Hour Eight: Rock Bottom"Gina Prince-BythewoodGina Prince-BythewoodMay 10, 2017 (2017-05-10)1AZG083.10[25]
9"Hour Nine: Come to Jesus"Ami Canaan MannChristopher Lee Bythewood & Denitria Harris-Lawrence & Mick BetancourtMay 17, 2017 (2017-05-17)1AZG092.91[26]
10"Hour Ten: Last Dance"Reggie Rock BythewoodReggie Rock Bythewood & Marissa Jo CerarMay 24, 2017 (2017-05-24)1AZG103.34[27]


Overall Shots Fired has garnered mostly mixed reviews, praising the show's premise, ambition, tackling of race relations, and the acting and directing crew, especially the performance of Sanaa Lathan, while criticizing the show's handling of some of the complex plot lines, uneven pacing and sub-par dialogue. It also was often compared to American Crime, American Crime Story, and The Wire.

James Poniewozik of The New York Times called the show "curious at first glance" but "complex." He praised the acting, especially that of Sanaa Lathan, the program's multilayered storylines, and compared it to the ABC's American Crime and HBO's The Wire. He did criticize the show's handling of the political side plots, and said "a lot of the exposition is ham-handed."[28]

Writing for The Hollywood Reporter, Daniel Fienberg also praised Ms. Lathan's acting, but said the show offered "clunky mystery plotting". He went on to say "sometimes Shots Fired articulates its points smartly and with pragmatism, but other times you're stuck with characters saying things like "Liberals can be racist, too," as if that weren't already being illustrated everywhere. Perhaps there isn't as much hand-holding as in ABC's American Crime, but it's also significantly less ideologically ambitious than John Ridley's drama, which should come with footnotes." He also mocked the show's methods of stretching the plot across 10 episodes, However, he did conclude that "there is much to admire here."[29]

USA Today mentioned the stellar directing crew and said the show features "interesting characters (especially women)". However, they said the story could've been "told more sensibly and efficiently". They praised the plot but overall had mixed impressions of the show overall.[30]

Collider gave Shots Fired two stars and called the show "timely", and said it's "ultimately more melodrama than crime story or political polemic", arguing that the show spends more time on the investigators' lives than the actual case. According to them the show was ambitious but failed to capitalize.[31]

IGN gave the pilot a 6.7, or "Okay", rating, and called the show's handling of the shooting, storywise, "both callous and pointless." They wrote that the show strays from the social conflict at hand to the mysteries of the deaths of the two young teens, and additionally the dialogue "becomes downright hamfisted." They did praise the "strong cast", though.[32]

Newsday gave the show a "B" rating, calling it "ambitious" but "at times a bit exhausting." They mostly praised the show, mainly only criticizing it for being too ambitious.[33]

Vox gave Shots Fired a 3 out of 5 rating, calling it "generally excellent", and said "Shots [Fired] aims to be American Crime or The Wire. It doesn't get there. The new limited series is a handsomely directed, nicely acted, overly complex mess." They praised the characters as well as the premise but added that "the show waters down interesting ideas at every the time I reached Shot's Fired's 500th scene with too-loud music meant to tell me how to feel about what was happening, I wanted to be watching anything else."[34]

The LA Times said it has ambitions to be "something ABC's "American Crime" or FX's "American Crime Story" practice, it plays more like "True Detective", Junior Grade." They mocked the romantic plot lines, saying "major and minor characters rapidly fall into bed, more to get some sex into the story than anything to do with the characters or the case at hand." They praised its premise and acting, but criticized its alternatively effortless and awful dialogue. They conclude that ""Shots Fired" lumbers as an issue drama".[35]

Ben Travers of IndieWire gave the show a positive review, calling Shots Fired "messy but ambitious," comparing it to American Crime and American Crime Story, and called it "engaging", "(mostly) well-executed", and said it "stands out for the right reasons. They praised Akino, and said her side stories push the show "into extreme melodrama, and make for a jarring change of pace." While criticizing will-they-won't-they plotlines for Terry and Akino and stating "a few characters are reduced to representatives", Ben praised the shows complex plot and its ability to "skirt...[tricky] questions." He gave the show a "B-" grade.[36]

Hungry Watching gave the show a "C+" grade and called the show "timely and compelling" but also said it has a "lack of excitement that leaves me with no real compulsion to keep watching."[37]

Vulture praised the show's ambition and "solid" cast, and said "Lathan [gets] the sort of lead role her charisma has long demanded." They also praised the character's unpredictability as well as its musical choices for the soundtrack. However, they said Shot's Fired becomes "less daring and more predictable when it goes into procedural mode."[38]

Deadline says the show "stays too close for comfort" that "doesn't ultimately take off much beyond the bounds of Big 4 procedurals." They called the show "good and smart", but overall wish it'd taken more risks.[39]

The AV/TV Club called Shots Fired "some of the most ambitious event television ever" that "cram[s a lot] into a limited series" and praised the "compelling story" and intricate plot.[40]


  1. ^ Porter, Rick (January 11, 2017). "'Prison Break' returns in April and more FOX spring 2017 premiere dates". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Hayes, Erika (April 13, 2016). "TV series starring Helen Hunt filming in Gastonia". WCNC-TV. Tegna, Inc. Retrieved April 14, 2016.
  3. ^ "Fox's 'Shots Fired' explores crime and justice in America". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2017-03-19.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Friedlander, Whitney (December 10, 2016). "Fox Orders 'Shots Fired' Event Series Examining Racial Tensions and Police Shootings". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  6. ^ Knox, Michael (March 30, 2016). "Richard Dreyfuss and Helen Hunt TV series filming in Cabarrus County". Independent Tribune. Berkshire Hathaway. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  7. ^ Raymond, Amanda (April 21, 2016). "Citizens search for stars during 'Shots Fired' filming at Rowan County Courthouse". Salisbury Post. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  8. ^ Janes, Theoden (May 13, 2016). "For Fox's 'Shots Fired,' background actors go the extra mile". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
  9. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (December 10, 2015). "'Shots Fired' Fox Event Series Starring Sanaa Lathan Gets Formal Green Light". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  10. ^ Petski, Denise (February 18, 2016). "DeWanda Wise Joins 'Shots Fired' Fox Event Series". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  11. ^ Petski, Denise (February 22, 2016). "Conor Leslie To Co-Star In 'Shots Fired' Fox Event Series". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  12. ^ Petski, Denise (March 1, 2016). "'Frequency' Casts Anthony Ruivivar". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  13. ^ Petski, Denise (March 10, 2016). "'Shots Fired': Tristan Wilds & Aisha Hinds Join Fox Event Series". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 18, 2016). "Helen Hunt, Stephen Moyer & Richard Dreyfuss To Star In Fox's 'Shots Fired'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  15. ^ Petski, Denise (March 21, 2016). "'Shots Fired': Will Patton Cast In Fox Event Series". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  16. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 30, 2016). "Jill Hennessy Joins 'Shots Fired' Drama Series At Fox - Deadline". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  17. ^ Pedersen, Erik (March 31, 2016). "Brooks Wheelan In ABC Pilot 'Toast'; Clare-Hope Ashitey In Fox's 'Shots Fired'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  18. ^ Porter, Rick (March 23, 2017). "'Law & Order: SVU' adjusts up: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  19. ^ Porter, Rick (March 30, 2017). "'Modern Family,' 'Survivor' and 'Chicago PD' adjust up: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  20. ^ Porter, Rick (April 6, 2017). "ABC comedies, 'SVU,' 'Criminal Minds,' 'Shots Fired' all adjust up; 'Beyond Borders' down: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  21. ^ Welch, Alex (April 13, 2017). "'Designated Survivor' and ABC comedy encores all adjust down: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  22. ^ Porter, Rick (April 20, 2017). "'Designated' Survivor,' 'Shots Fired' & other originals hold: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
  23. ^ Porter, Rick (April 27, 2017). "'Survivor' and 'Black-ish' adjust up: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  24. ^ Porter, Rick (May 4, 2017). "'Empire,' 'Modern Family,' 'Criminal Minds,' 'Chicago PD' adjust up, 'The 100' adjusts down: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  25. ^ Porter, Rick (May 11, 2017). "'Empire,' 'Modern Family,' 'Criminal Minds' finale, 'Chicago PD' & 'Speechless' all adjust up: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  26. ^ Porter, Rick (May 18, 2017). "'Empire,' 'Blindspot' finale adjust up: Wednesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
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  30. ^ "Review: Fox's 'Shots Fired' misses its mark". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2019-03-13.
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  33. ^ "Ambitious 'Shots Fired' doesn't master big themes". Newsday. Retrieved 2019-03-13.
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  37. ^ Watching, Hungry. "TV Review: Shots Fired". Retrieved 2019-03-13.
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  40. ^ Chavez, Danette. "Shots Fired is some of the most ambitious event television ever". TV Club. Retrieved 2019-03-13.

External links[edit]