Darren Franich
July 12, 2013 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Like most people nowadays, John Kennex is worried about how the ubiquity of technology is affecting the connections between human beings. Unlike most people, Kennex isn’t living nowadays: He’s a cop in the year 2048 who’s assigned an android partner. That’s the buddy-robocop concept behind Almost Human, the newest genre series from J.H. Wyman (Fringe) and J.J. Abrams, which stars Karl Urban (Star Trek‘s Dr. McCoy) as Kennex and Michael Ealy as his synthetic partner, Dorian. Wyman is no stranger to sci-fi, and he relishes the idea of putting a techno twist on the usual cop-show format. ”We can tell cases you’ve seen before, but in different ways,” he says. ”As technology advances, so do the criminals with their technology.” Although Wyman cites Isaac Asimov and Blade Runner as influences, he says Human will explore new territory: ”We didn’t want to do that thing where the robot wants to be human. The robot is actually more human from the get-go.”

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