‘Training Day’: How the CBS Series and the 2001 Film Are Tied Together

training day

CBS’ new drama, Training Day, is a continuation (of sorts) of the 2001 Denzel Washington/Ethan Hawke film: the series exists in the same world, but isn’t a direct sequel. Instead, the show follows Officer Craig (Justin Cornwell), as he goes undercover in the LAPD’s Special Investigation Section and partners with a controversial detective, Frank Roarke (Bill Paxton).

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“What’s interesting about the show is that it’s not just a show about Kyle’s seduction [to a darker path]; it’s also a show about Frank’s redemption,” executive producer Will Beall said during the show’s Television Critics Association panel. “And the way those guys pull and push on each other, that’s what’s going to be fascinating to watch.”

Antoine Fuqua—who directed the original film and is an executive producer on the CBS show—pointed to the humor in the series as one of the biggest perks of continuing in the world. “That’s the fun of watching the show for me,” he said. “I have so much fun watching [the leads], watching you go through the things. That’s what I love the most about it: the humor. It has much more humor than the movie. If I had more time in the film, I would have put much more humor in it. A show like this, you can have that.”

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Though neither of the leads of the 2001 flick are set to appear in this tale, at least one of the stars supports it. “Denzel, he asked me about it,” Fuqua recalled. “He said, ‘I heard you were going to do it as a TV show. That’s great.’ He knows I love that world. ‘You can explore more of that.'”

The idea of bringing Hawke’s Jake into the show at some point has been floated, but in the meantime, there will be other key players who show up during the duration of the first year. “There are a few characters from the movies who cross over,” Beall said. “The Three Wise Men show up in a crucial time…so yes, we have brought up the idea that Jake may be out there somewhere.”

Training Day, Series Premiere, Thursday, February, 2, 10/9c, CBS