We Value Your Privacy

This site uses cookies to improve user experience. By continuing to browse, you accept the use of cookies and other technologies.


Watch List: American Crime

A brutal murder sets off a tense battle between the victims and accused in American Crime, ABC's riveting new drama.


Just what does one do after winning an Oscar? If you’re Matthew McConaughey, you pontificate on some kind of existential hogwash in a series of Lincoln car commercials. But if you’re John Ridley, you take a different route.

Ridley, who took home a gold statue for his adapted screenplay of Solomon’s Northup’s 12 Years a Slave, returns to the small screen with American Crime, a thrilling anthology that uses racial tension as its engine.

No stranger to the tube, Ridley has an impressive resume containing some classic TV gems – Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Martin, Third Watch. And some even more impressive big-screen credits: he achieved substantial success with indie biopic Jimi: All Is by My Side, the seething revenge flick Out of the Furnace, and, of course, the incredible-yet-impossible-to-watch-twice 12 Years a Slave.

His new crime drama vehicle kicks off with – what else? – a murder, hangs a left into Whodunitville, then hightails it into a taut battle between the victims and the accused. Who’s behind the wheel? Timothy Hutton and Felicity Huffman.

  • camera-icon
  • Photo Credit: ABC

Oscar winner Hutton, who you may recognize from the cult TNT drama, Leverage, plays Russ Skokie, an estranged father who’s war hero son, Matt, and daughter-in-law Gwen, are brutally attacked in their Modesto, California, home.

Huffman, best known for the desperate housewife hysteria that invaded homes for longer than a decade, co-stars as Barb, Russ’s ex-wife who’s determined to track down her son’s killer. Bosch’s Richard Cabral, True Detective’s W. Earl Brown, and The Shield’s Benito Martinez round out the diverse cast.

Ridley takes a nuanced approach to faith, family, gender, race, and class. It’s hard not to compare his racially charged world to that of Paul Haggis’s Crash, which is also a collision of strangers and racism. And even though some of Ridley’s twists are almost too ironic to believe, one can’t deny the relevancy of the show and the parallels it draws to modern society. Missing it would be a crime.

American Crime premieres Thursday, March 5, at 10 p.m., on ABC.