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Life (NBC 2007-2009, Damian Lewis, Sarah Shahi)

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Meet Detective Charlie Crews (Damian Lewis). He’s just spent years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. And now he must deal with the challenges of a world that has moved on without him.

It’s no easy task, especially when his new partner at the Los Angeles Police Department is as jaded as Dani Reese.

But Charlie’s time behind bars has given him an appreciation for life’s details. He returns to the force with an almost zen-like approach to control his rage and find the connections that help solve the most difficult crimes.

Background
Charlie Crews served 12 years of a life sentence for a triple homicide he did not commit. During that time, he lost everything he had – his wife, his friends, and his fellow cops.

He was a cop in prison. It would have been easier if they had sentenced him to death. In order to ensure his safety, he served the majority of his sentence in 23-hour-a-day lockdown. In a six by eight foot cell, Charlie lost his mind.

He talked to the walls, to himself, to his wife who couldn’t hear him. And always, he heard the voice in his head saying, “I didn’t do it.”

After two years in that locked box, though, guilt began to creep in. He began to wonder, “Did I do it?” If he was in this box being punished, he must have done something.

Then, during his one hour a day all alone in the isolated prison yard, he discovered a book lying on the ground – The Way of Zen. When he finally decided to pick it up, Charlie read the whole book in one sitting and that book gave him his sanity back…

When Constance Griffiths came to see him with the proposition of re-opening his case, of giving him hope, Charlie told her there was no outside world to which he could return.

There was only this place, and he was here now. Please leave him alone. But Constance wouldn’t do that. And finally Charlie consented to let her help him.

The first tests were negative for his DNA. The path to exoneration looked clear. Along with his exoneration plea, Constance had filed a suit against the Los Angeles Police Department and the City of Los Angeles.

They were both more than happy to pay cash in order to get the exoneration put behind them. But he wanted more than cash: Charlie wanted his badge and gun back…

production details
USA | NBC | 32×45 minutes | Broadcast 26 September 2007 – 8 April 2009

Creator: Rand Ravich,

cast
Damian Lewis as Charlie Crews
Sarah Shahi as Dani Reese
Brent Sexton as Robert ‘Bobby’ Stark
Donal Logue as Kevin Tidwell
Adam Arkin as Ted Earley