Michael J. McDonald Q&A: ‘American Crime’ producer
“We are very sad about the show not being able to come back,” admits “American Crime” executive producer Michael J. McDonald during our recent webcam chat (watch the exclusive video above). “The lucky thing we have is that because it is an anthology, we get to complete our storytelling, and I feel honored that we’ve been able to tell three very strong, powerful stories.” Created by Oscar-winning screenwriter John Ridley (“12 Years a Slave”), the third season of this ABC anthology series turned an eye on the mistreatment of illegal immigrants and teenage sex workers. The ensemble cast includes Felicity Huffman, Timothy Hutton, Lili Taylor, Richard Cabral, Connor Jessup, Benito Martinez, Ana Mulvoy Ten, Mickaelle X. Bizet, and Regina King, who has won back-to-back Emmys as Best Movie/Limited Series Supporting Actress for the show.
While McDonald is rueful about the show’s recent cancellation, he’s nevertheless proud of their legacy. “It was a bold, brave move,” for ABC to put the show on the air. “You are able to say something that may be controversial, and the fear of a backlash, the fear of a public protest, the fear of people not liking what you have to say… that has dissipated.” Because of the show, “other networks I think will be willing to do things that are a little bit more controversial.”
Both seasons of “American Crime” snagged Emmy nominations for Best Limited Series. Additionally, McDonald served as a consulting producer on ABC’s limited series “When We Rise” and is currently acting as an executive producer on Showtime’s “Guerilla.” Check out our full interview above for more, including potential avenues to tell the story that would have been season four of “American Crime.”