Parker, who currently plays Deputy Superintendent Samantha Miller on Chicago PD, will take on an entirely different role in this crime drama. Safe Space focuses on Lila Jackson and her autistic son Ian; when Ian is the sole witness to a murder across the street, Lila and her neighbor Neil Hargrove (Kodjoe of Code Black and Station 19) must outwit the killers while trapped in a makeshift panic room designed by Lila’s late husband.
The film is notable for a few reasons; not only are Parker and Kodjoe co-starring, but Kodjoe is making his debut as a director with the movie. Audiences know him as Dr. Will Campbell on CBS’ medical drama Code Black and now currently as Robert Sullivan on ABC’s firefighter drama Station 19, but this will be the first time viewers get to see his handiwork behind the camera.
In addition, the role of Ian is played by young actor Nik Sanchez, who is on the autism spectrum. Lifetime has taken the step of partnering with disability organization RespectAbility so that the script for Safe Space will be authentic in its portrayal of autism, and will include resources to educate viewers about autism at the end of the movie.
After a season watching Nicole Ari Parker help investigate crimes on Chicago PD, One Chicago fans will likely be interested to see her on the other side of the story in this upcoming film. The project shouldn’t impact any chance of her returning to the One Chicago universe; while there haven’t been any hints about whether or not Samantha Miller will be coming back for season 9, TV-movies don’t normally take too long to film and the show could probably work around any potential scheduling conflict, since we don’t see Miller every week.
Chicago PD airs Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on NBC. A premiere date and time for Safe Space is to be announced.
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