San Diego Comic-Con 2013: J.J. Abrams's 'Almost Human' Pilot Debuts on Preview Night

Karl Urban ('Star Trek') and Michael Ealy ('Californication') star in futuristic buddy-cop series.

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On the San Diego Comic-Con calendar, Wednesdays are deemed "Preview Night," the time when four-day pass holders get first crack at the exclusives on the convention floor. Since 2008, it also has been the time when Warner Brothers takes over Ballroom 20 to screen pilot episodes of their upcoming shows.

Slated as a Fox mid-season replacement, "Almost Human," a futuristic buddy cop show featuring a human cop and artificial partner, has serious potential. The series takes place at a time where the crime rate has increased a whopping 400 percent. For safety's sake, all human cops must partner with a robotic officer.

10 important things to know about "Almost Human":

1. Karl Urban of "Star Trek" fame plays the human lead, Detective John Kennex. After two years in a medically induced coma, Kennex returns to the force with a synthetic leg and a distrust for artificial police officers. Some colleagues even think he's a has-been and out-of-touch.

2. J.J. Abrams executive-produced the series and gives Urban a chance to step out of his portrayal of Dr. Leonard McCoy on the big screen.

3. The always great Lili Taylor ("Hemlock Grove") co-stars as a police captain who takes a special interest in Kennex and his return to the force.

4. After his partner "malfunctions," Dorian (Michael Ealy) becomes Kennex's new teammate. Dorian was built years earlier and looks more human than the current generation of robotic cops. These models actually were almost too human, experiencing the equivalent of a nervous breakdown.

5. Ealy, seen previously on "Flash Forward" and "Californication," slips into his role easily. Like a futuristic Pinocchio, Dorian bristles each time his partner calls him "synthetic." Dorian was slated for deep-space maintenance duty, so he is happy to be teamed with a human -- even a curmudgeon like Kennex.

6. Fox has had some trouble with Monday night science-fiction thrillers in the past. "Terra Nova," a series set in the future and past, didn't make it past midseason while "Alcatraz," its time travel replacement, limped to the end of the 2011-2012 season.

7. With his easy-going manner, Ealy is the rational one of the duo; his throwaway lines also are drop-dead funny.

8. NBC tried the human/robot match-up in the 1960s on "Get Smart" with Agent 86 and Hymie the Robot. ABC tried a comedy series, titled "Holmes and Yoyo," in the 1970s featuring John Schuck as a defective android, but it didn't survive.

9. The series appears to have a season-long mystery in the works. A closing shot of an evidence locker reveals a decommissioned android, which may hold the key to the mystery.

10. "Almost Human" has the right chemistry and sharp writing to help it succeed.

"Almost Human" is slated as a late-fall replacement on FOX

Check out all the stars at Comic-Con 2013:

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