Gabrielle Union is reprising her Bad Boys II role in the spinoff series L.A.'s Finest, but there have been plenty of changes made in the 16 years since she last played Special Agent Sydney "Syd" Burnett.
In L.A.'s Finest, Union's Syd has moved from Miami to Los Angeles to join the LAPD. Once there, she is paired with Jessica Alba's Nancy McKenna, a working mom envious of Syd's off-the-job freedom. The show is the first original show for Charter Communications' Spectrum service and is produced by Sony Pictures TV.
During the Television Critics Association Press Tour, Union told reporters audiences will get to know a new side of Syd. In Bad Boys II, she was part of a couple, but now she is enjoying the single life.
"When we first got introduced to Syd in Bad Boys II, she was already part of this couple," Union said. "You know what I mean? And I wanted to take her away from that. Who is Syd [without] a dude, and let's get to know her."
Since Syd was going to be the single character, McKenna ended up being the character with children.
"She's a step‑parent, which is a nod to my own personal life and that journey, and how does that work," Union said of Alba's character. "Being a working mom; being a stepmom, how do you figure out what your lane is, much less how do you stay in it; how do you maintain a relationship while also, sort of, building bridges within your own family, and then, having to come to work and do the same. So, it's just that's who McKenna is, and Syd is a little bit more sexually free."
In real life, both Union and Alba are happily married with young children, and they made sure the set was mom-friendly.
"Our trailers are, like, outfitted as nurseries," Union explained. "So, like, our babies... I mean, if you guys stay long enough, you'll see our kids!"
L.A.'s Finest was originally developed for NBC, but the network passed on it last year. Charter saved it a few days later, hoping to use it as a launch pad for its original content. The company ordered 13 episodes and scheduled the premiere for Monday, May 13.
During the TCA, Spectrum Originals content chief Katherine Pope said it was up to Sony to find ways to distribute the show for viewers living where Spectrum is not available. Sony will also handle international sales.
"If you are not in the Spectrum footprint (L.A. is in the Spectrum footprint) there will likely be a secondary sale through Sony," Pope explained. "But, at this time, we are the first U.S. platform, and everyone in the footprint will get the show."0comments
Additional reporting by Scott Huver
Photo credit: Rochlin/Getty Images