Image Credit: Kharen Hill/Fox

Quick — try to imagine a hot female superintendent of cops working somewhere, anywhere, in the country. Coming up empty? Executive producer Shawn Ryan doesn’t think it’s that unrealistic, which is why he felt strongly about casting Jennifer Beals (The L Word) as Superintendent Teresa Colvin in Fox’s midseason drama The Chicago Code. She plays the ex-partner of Jarek Wysocki (Jason Clarke) who’s now in a position of power to fight corruption in the city — most of which seems to originate from building-magnate-turned-politician Alderman Ronin Gibbons (Delroy Lindo).

“If anyone knows anything about Jennifer’s life story, they would learn what an accomplished, educated person she is,” the executive producer told the nation’s TV critics in Pasadena, Calif., today. “In real life, the idea that somebody like her, who grew up in Chicago and took herself to great heights academically … I see no problem [that someone like her could get the job]. If Jennifer had taken a right turn instead of left, she could have been the superintendent of police. So hotness aside, when you talk to this woman about where she came from and what she did, you know she’s more than qualified to do this job.”

To prepare for the gig, Beals said she did a ride-along or two with Chicago cops, though admits she couldn’t last a day on the mean streets. (What’s that you say about her being more than qualified, Ryan?) Anyway, Beals is clearly enjoying the rush of playing a pioneer in primetime. “I thought it was in incredible character, a woman in this position, which has not been done before,” Beals said. “She is creating the template. What will that journey that be like? You can’t be self-confident all the time. She certainly has been in the force long enough to have quite a bit of respect. But there is nobody who has gone before her, so she has to be on her game. She’s aware that if she makes mistakes, she ruins it for women after her.”