John Ridley's new drama American Crime premieres on Thursday (March 5) on the back of a wave of fanfare. The series follows the aftermath of a murder in California when war veteran Matt Skokie is killed during a home invasion. It uses the legal system to explore complex issues, of race, class and gender politics though the lenses of the victims and suspect's families.

Felcity Huffman American CrimeFelicity Huffman [L] and Timothy Hutton [R] at the American Crime premiere

The show stars Felicity Huffman, Timothy Hutton and W. Earl Brown and has received critical acclaim ahead of its premiere. 

"With grit, guts and some of the best performances you'll see on TV this year, American Crime aims for truth and pulls no punches getting there," said David Wiegand of the San Francisco Chronicle.

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"Some of the character are so impressively conceived and fleshed out that they ignite the material. Brown's work proves that Ridley's material can be generationally spot-on and gender-specific," wrote Tim Goodman of the Hollywood Reporter.

"Sacrificing and caring for one's family is expected, after all. What this challenging drama dares to explore is whether that relatively narrow focus leaves much room for extending a spirit of generosity--or even a mild benefit of the doubt--to strangers," wrote Brian Lowry for Variety.

Felicity HuffmanFelicity Huffman heads up the cast in John Ridley's American Crime

"As you may have been able to tell from the ads, the program a bit too often wears the banner of "Very Important Show" but a grounded, talented cast carries it over those melodramatic speed bumps," said Brian Tallerico of

The anthology series it something of a first for ABC, known for its more immediate and snappy dramas like Grey's Anatomy, Agent Carter and Nashville.

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"I think every week we do have this emotional resolution, but it's not about having a real episodic closure," John Ridley told the New York Times of American Crime, "rather it's about building something over time.and that was new space for the network."