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Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Sidney Torres arrives at City Hall for a meeting Jan. 16, 2015.

John McCusker

A friend took to Facebook Monday night to pose the following question: "If anyone is watching this new show on Fox entitled 'APB,' does it look and sound familiar? In other words, does the story line sound like a common thread between the French Quarter app developed by Sidney Torres, NOPD and the mayor's office?"

Good eye.

The show, about a billionaire tech guru who "buys" a broke Chicago police precinct after his friend is murdered and blings it out with expensive crime-fighting technology, does indeed have its roots in the story of trash collection and real estate magnate Sidney Torres' crime-fighting initiative in the Quarter. The series' web site explains that it was "inspired by" a 2015 New York Times Magazine story on Torres, headlined “Who Runs the Streets of New Orleans?”

As you'd expect from a network crime drama, the show takes to the premise to extremes. While Torres introduced a crowdsourcing app and network of responders, "APB" features everything from futuristic drones that participate in foot chases to a new precinct coffee maker that one cop says costs more than his house.

But the underlying theme, that one visionary outsider can come into a tired, broken-down bureaucracy and shake things up in all the right ways, would fit right in with Torres' long-rumored run for mayor, should he decide to jump into this fall's race.

It's actually a premise that has propelled other outsider businessman candidacies, from Ray Nagin in New Orleans to Donald Trump nationwide. Indeed, you can almost hear APB's protagonist, Gideon Reeves, channeling Trump's claim that "I alone can fix it."

Real life, of course, is never that simple, and nor is government. Even if you have an app for that.

Follow Stephanie Grace on Twitter, @stephgracela.