Almost a year ago, NBC’s plans to remake the BBC police procedural Prime Suspect came to a halt because no actress could be found to take on the lead character brought to life so effortlessly by Helen Mirren in the original series. However, Variety reports NBC is ready to try again and this time they’ve brought in a new creative team along with director Peter Berg who will executive produce and direct the series (or at least the pilot). However, despite the new team behind the scenes, the question still remains as to what actress has the talent to make this project work.
More details on Prime Suspect and an all-new Western series after the jump.
Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison is the only female DCI on an old boy’s club London homicide squad. She’s like a phantom lurking around the edges of the action while the men rush through their latest murder case, joshing and winking in the kind of male camaraderie the cop genre has celebrated for decades. When DCI Shefford dies of a sudden heart attack, Tennison demands to take over. Despite her superintendent’s resistance (“Give her this case and she’ll start expecting more.”), she becomes the squad’s first woman to head a murder investigation. Scrutinized at every moment by her superior officers, Tennison is faced with a case that spirals out from a single murder to a serial spree, a second-in-command who undermines her authority and her investigation at every turn, a team resistant to taking orders from a woman, and a private life unraveling due to her professional diligence.
It’s certainly going to be a tough role to cast, so I hope NBC has an ace (or should I say a queen) hidden up their sleeve.
On the original side of programming, NBC is taking a page out of FX’s book of success with their series Justified by creating their own Western drama. However, The Crossing will journey back to post-Civil War times when a mysterious former soldier arrives in a small town to become something of a savior. The soldier experiences flashbacks to haunting experiences from the war. The potential series is described as “dark” and “moody.”
Of course, with the limits of network television, series like this can only be so dark and gritty before having to deal with the censors, and even worse, unhappy advertisers. The Western isn’t an easy genre to crack either, and I hope NBC doesn’t think they already have a hit on their hands because audiences clamored to see True Grit in theaters (unless they get The Coen Brothers or Jeff Bridges involved). Interested?