The main event on FOX’s primetime lineup tonight is undoubtedly the wedding between Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Booth (David Boreanaz) on Bones, but nestled into the nuptials will be an extended sneak peek at the network’s upcoming sci-fi drama Almost Human. The latest TV project from executive producer J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Fringe) tackles the classic themes of what constitutes humanity in a future world where crime has run rampant and law enforcement has become overwhelmed to the point where each officer is mandated to take on an android partner.
The extended sneak peek will also air simultaneously across all of FOX’s digital and social media platforms, including Hulu, the FOX Now App, the Almost Human website, the show’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.
One of the stars of Almost Human, Michael Ealy, never imagined himself playing a robot. So Abrams did it for him.
Ealy (Think Like a Man) is Dorian, the android half of a sci-fi cop duo fighting crime 40 years in the future. He is an older model, one more prone to emotion and unpredictability. Or, you know, more human.
This is a problem for his more or less fully human partner, John Kennex (Karl Urban, Star Trek), who has a rough history with “synthetics,” as he derisively calls them. They were the perpetrators of a vicious attack that led to Kennex being in a long coma and losing his leg, which has been replaced with — ironically enough — a synthetic limb.
Never a big science-fiction fan, Ealy initially couldn’t picture himself in the role. That all changed when he read the script by Fringe writer J.H. Wyman.
“By the end of the pilot I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I could have fun with this. This could be interesting. This I haven’t done. I gotta do it,’” Ealy says. “Every actor tries to challenge themselves and this presented a great challenge for me because I haven’t done this character, and who knows, I probably never will again.”
As different as the role is, and as far-out as the premise may be, there is something familiar about the interaction between Kennex and Dorian. Fans of buddy cop stories — like Ealy’s last series Common Law, for instance — will find plenty to enjoy.
“Originally I didn’t think we were going to go there,” Ealy says. “But as the scripts have come out, we saw that it was working. … The chemistry between Karl and I is there, and I’m happy and thankful for that, because it’s working. It’s what’s making the show strong. Obviously the production value is great and everything but if you’re not invested in the characters, then it’s just not going to work. … It’s Midnight Run. He’s De Niro and I’m Charles Grodin.”
The Almost Human sneak peek airs tonight during Bones at 8pm, and the series premieres with a two-night event Sunday, Nov. 17, and Monday, Nov. 18, at 8pm on FOX.