Written by Media, TV

Prime Suspect – US Style

If you live in Scotland, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen the US version of Cracker – aka Fitz (probably when the rest of the country was watching something STV thought Scottish audiences wouldn’t like – Downton Abbey for example). While the original featured Robbie Coltrane as the overweight chainsmoking Fitz, in the US he was somewhat more conventially handsome, no longer chainsmoked, and the stories were told in 42 minute episodes in a 16 episode run (aired over an extended period of time) rather than in two and three parters like the UK original.
Aside from sharing the same name, and origins, the two are basically unrelated.
Now the same is happening with Prime Suspect with NBC having another bash at making a pilot for a prospective series.
Over at Salon Matt Zoller Seitz explains why this is a bad idea.
While a lot of what he says is true, it’s also the case that budgets constrain the length of British series. Still, ITV Studios won’t be worrying too much about the heritage of the Prime Suspect brand. They’ll be thinking about getting a bit fat juicy order of 22 episodes of a major network series, and the long potential that brings with it.