Backstrom: Season 1 (2015)

Season 1

Critics Consensus

Backstrom's stale cop humor is a cop-out, availed little by the talented cast's attempt to make good of sloppy schtick.



Critic Ratings: 41


Audience Score

User Ratings: 399

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Air date: Jan 22, 2015
Air date: Jan 29, 2015
Air date: Feb 5, 2015
Air date: Feb 12, 2015
Air date: Feb 19, 2015
Air date: Feb 26, 2015
Air date: Mar 5, 2015
Air date: Mar 26, 2015
Air date: Apr 2, 2015
Air date: Apr 9, 2015
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Backstrom: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

This crime comedy-drama centers around Det. Lt. Everett Backstrom (Rainn Wilson), who is resuming his career following a demotion for a racially charged outburst. Now the head of the Special Crimes Unit of the Portland Police Bureau, his first case is the apparent suicide of a college student. But, Backstrom convinces his team to investigate it as a homicide. Later, he faces the murder of a prominent member of Portland's gay community, the abduction of a teenage girl, an oil-pipeline explosion and the murder of a key witness in a drug case.


Rainn Wilson
as Det. Lt. Everett Backstrom
Genevieve Angelson
as Det. Nicole Gravely
Page Kennedy
as Frank Moto
Beatrice Rosen
as Nadia Chickikov
Kristoffer Polaha
as Peter Niedermayer
Dennis Haysbert
as Det. Sgt. John Almond
Thomas Dekker
as Gregory Valentine
Rizwan Manji
as Dr. Deb Chaman
Inga Cadranel
as Chief Anna Cervantes
Benjamin Hollingsworth
as ADA Steven Kines
Robert Forster
as Sheriff Blue Backstrom
Lolita Davidovich
as Louise "Lou" Finster
Evan Jones
as Gene Visser
Terry Chen
as Dominic Chan
Angelique Cabral
as Samantha Orland
Mikey Foy
as Albert Reid
Frank Collison
as Norman Gilman
Adam Beach
as Capt. Jesse Rocha
Eddie McClintock
as Sam D'Agostino
Matt Battaglia
as Nick D'Agostino
Lindsay Kraft
as Claire McGrail
Michael B. Silver
as Agent Jacob Cole
David Carzell
as Larry Dabkey
Faran Tahir
as Dr. Alan Kobrine
Jarod Joseph
as Charles Turner
Elysia Rotaru
as Melinda Norburg
Garrett Black
as Drew Carver
Pat Healy
as Leon Mundy
Marco Soriano
as Robert Hodstetter
Brent McLaren
as Chris Borden
Keenan Tracey
as Toby Percival
Matt Mazur
as Craig Lasalle
Kyle Secor
as Sen. Tobias Percival
Kurt Ostlund
as Martin Phinney
Gregory Cruz
as Edgar Norwest
Gerard Plunkett
as Leyland Eaton
Alison Araya
as Danielle Black
Dale Dickey
as Judge Nunn
Danyella Angel
as Emma Germain
Aubrey Deeker
as Dale Kritko
Samantha Ferris
as Rebecca Forrester
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News & Interviews for Backstrom: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Backstrom Season 1

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (24)

What you'll see is the best broadcast TV cop drama of the season, with a dirty-to-the-touch sleuth played to the hilt by an actor who's very much up for this. Rainn Wilson has found a role that fits him like an ugly, stretched-out poncho.

Jan 21, 2015 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
Top Critic

On Backstrom, neither the character-driven byplay nor the mystery-driven suspense is award worthy, but together they kill an hour pleasantly. Is that a crime?

Jan 21, 2015 | Full Review…
Top Critic

This is one of those shows where one starts to feel bad for the ensemble, as they trudge through bad scripts, doing all they can to elevate it but sinking into the generic quicksand as Wilson over-acts his way into cancellation.

Jan 20, 2015 | Full Review…

The characters talk at a breakneck pace, the tone is dizzy and yet the results feel run of the mill.

Jan 20, 2015 | Full Review…

It's all deeply familiar territory.

Jan 20, 2015 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

Backstrom isn't just far-fetched; at times it's downright silly. And clumsy. And painfully obvious.

Feb 23, 2015 | Rating: C- | Full Review…
Top Critic

Halfway through the episode I realised that Backstrom is just a bad House, with a few more dead bodies.

Jan 15, 2019 | Full Review…

Wilson's talent for dark humor helps keep us interested in Backstrom, even when he's irritating.

Jan 20, 2015 | Full Review…

It's hard to find much in Backstrom that feels fresh or original: It's as if a collection of cop cliches, anti-hero ideas and grouchy-genius concepts were put in a blender and garnished with some attempts at humor, many of which don't quite land.

Jan 20, 2015 | Full Review…

If given the chance, there's a real possibility for the show to become a decent hit with a passionate fan-base that will follow it to the depths of hell.

Jan 15, 2015 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Backstrom: Season 1

  • Oct 10, 2018
    saw 10 episodes so far. great show. never saw it promoted on local tv stations. watching via amazon prime.
  • Nov 02, 2017
    Why did Fox cancel one of the most intelligently written and well performed series ever shown? Was it because of the critics who wanted it to be more art house and pretentious? There is ALWAYS such wide disparity between critic consensus and that of the REAL viewership, the general public, people who know what they want and don’t need to be told what to watch like a herd of sheep! I’m just so mad that I don’t get to see Rainn Wilson play this role sober, together with the agony of expectation of his relapse, and it’s so much better than some of the pap detective shows that are aimed at the stupid! Yes, it was occasionally corny and formulaic but always in a fresh and amusing way. My only hope is that another network decides it’s worth picking back up.
  • May 31, 2017
    Fox is by far the worst. Every time they have a great show they cancel it. Backstrom was everything you could want, funny, emotional, dramatic, relatable and they just ended it on the worst possible note. I will never again in my life start watching a new fox show.
  • Feb 08, 2017
    Really enjoys it. Made me laugh a lot and hope the books are as clever as I found the show.
  • Jan 18, 2017
    Funny, quirky characters with interesting adventures and relationships. The cast is incredibly talented.
  • Nov 25, 2016
    The things that happen with the lead characters health is kind of off putting after a point and it is s hit of miss when used as a comic relief filler.Not all episodes are good - it is actually 50-50....but it kind of grows on you and just a begin to get it...they pull it...damn.
  • Dec 07, 2015
    I was really disappointed that this was canceled. I enjoyed Rainn Wilson's acting and Backstrom's "I'm you..." monologues.
  • Sep 27, 2015
    Rainn Wilson breaks out of his usual typecasting, but unfortunately he falls right into another generic FOX procedural.
  • May 25, 2015
    Sad that this got cancelled, it was one of the better of this year's crop of new shows. Well-written and clever, good acting and interesting characters.
  • May 22, 2015
    Rainn Wilson is brilliant as always, and the rest of the cast is terrific as well. I particularly like Dennis Haysbert (great voice!) and Thomas Dekker, whose portrayal of Valentine is both complex and endearing. Genevieve Angelson brings just the right amount of lightness to offset Backstrom's gloom. The stories behind Backstrom are unfolding slowly, with revelations in each new show.

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