AMC's Cop Show Visits Detroit Courts for Some Realism

Chief 36th District Judge Kenneth King

Realism in the TV and movie world can make a difference.

Hollywood knows that all too well. Fall short --- pronounce a street name wrong or use some local slang out of context --  and you open yourself up to criticism.

So last week, some production folks from the yet-to-air AMC Detroit cop show "Low Winter Sun" visited 36th District Court and Wayne County Circuit Court in Detroit on a research expedition to make sure everything on the show is as realistic as possible. 

Detroit cop Ira Todd, a consultant for the show, accompanied the TV folks as they snapped pictures of the courtrooms and judges' chambers and chatted with the judges.

"They want to make it as authentic as possible," Todd said.

Production staffers met with Chief 36th District Judge Kenneth King and Judge Ruth Carter and Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Vonda Evans.

Judge King said that same day he and Judge Carter and her sister, who is a doctor, went to visit the studio set for the show, which is inside a warehouse on East Grand Blvd., right next to the Packard Plant. Inside the building, the show has replicated a Detroit Police homicide office.

"It was interesting, I'd never seen anything first-hand like that," King said of the TV set.  King said as a former prosecutor, he spent his fair share of time at the Detroit Police homicide office.

"They paid extreme attention to detail," he said of the TV set for the homicide office. "They grunged it up a little more than I remembered. But I thought they did a pretty good job."

Detroit Police Officer Ira Todd, a consultant. 

Charles Carroll,  producer of the show, said a courtroom is needed because an upcoming episode includes an arraignment. The crew plans to use a courtroom in the abandoned old Wayne County courthouse downtown, and dress it up to make it as "real as they are in Detroit."

He said using an operational courtroom was problematic because they would have had to work around the court schedule.

The show debuts on AMC on Aug. 11. 

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