Prime Suspect

Get Your First Look at Prequel Series ‘Prime Suspect: Tennison’

Stefanie Martini as the young Jane Tennison (Photo:  Courtesy of ITV Studios and NoHo Film & Television for ITV and MASTERPIECE)

The prequel to beloved crime drama Prime Suspect is coming to America this June, and Masterpiece has released a trailer for the highly anticipated series!

Titled Prime Suspect: Tennison, the series takes place in 1973, eighteen years prior to the events of the original Prime Suspect. That series starred Dame Helen Mirren in the lead role, who won all kinds of awards for her performance, including several Emmys and BAFTAs, as well as a prestigious Peabody Award. (So, no pressure, y’all). 

'Prime Suspect' Prequel Comes to Masterpiece This Summer!

The three leads of "Prime Suspect: Tennison". (Photo:  Courtesy of ITV Studios and NoHo Film & Television for ITV and MASTERPIECE)

The highly anticipated prequel to beloved crime drama Prime Suspect finally has an airdate!

The drama, greenlit to some degree thanks to the success of ITV’s popular Inspector Morse prequel franchise, Endeavour, will premiere on PBS beginning June 25, as part of this summer’s Masterpiece Mystery line-up. Though it was titled Prime Suspect 1973 during its ITV airing this past March, the series will be called Prime Suspect: Tennison here in the U.S., I suspect for issues of clarity. But whatever you call it, it’ll be interesting to see the character that Dame Helen Mirren made famous once more. 

ITV Commissions ‘Prime Suspect’ Prequel Series ‘Tennison’

ITV has commissioned a new prequel series, entitled Tennison, which aims to do for Prime Suspect what Endeavour did for Inspector Morse – namely, tell the story of the early days of one of British television’s most famous detectives: Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison.

The six-episode drama will be penned by Prime Suspect’s original writer, Lynda LaPlante, and will show a young Tennison just starting out in her career, revealing why she became such a complex and formidable character.

Coming Soon to WETA UK: Prime Suspect

While Prime Suspect is not quite a “new” program coming to WETA UK – in the sense that this is probably not a show with which the vast majority of our audience is unfamiliar – given that we’ve aired it before, it’s nevertheless a show that I’m very excited to see as part of the new channel’s lineup, simply because it’s fantastic.

Though Prime Suspect is a program that we’ve aired fairly recently on TV26, if you’ve never seen the full series or only watched it in a sort of piecemeal fashion, now is the perfect time to give it a try. It’s a fantastically gritty crime drama that features one of the most iconic British acting performances I can think of (by a lady I admire tremendously no less). It’s well worth a try if you've never seen it, and certainly worthy of a re-watch if you have. Click through for some basics, including trailers and a look at the cast and premise.

NBC Really, Really Wants You to Try Their Prime Suspect Remake

NBC is doubling down (tripling down?) on their new Prime Suspect. If you’ve been curious to try the American remake, next week is going to be your chance. With the early demise of several of their new Fall offerings, the network is lining up a big push for the police drama heading into November sweeps. Repeats of Prime Suspect will air on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night next week, leading into the series’ regular Thursday broadcast.

If you're a British TV fan - should you try it? Well, maybe. But not because you loved the British version.

In all honesty, NBC’s Prime Suspect isn’t a terrible show. Yes, it has some issues (the relentless portrayal of every man on the police force as an obnoxiously sexist ogre is especially tiresome.) But, it’s well-acted, well-produced, and if detective/procedural shows are your thing, you could do a lot worse. The problem is, is that it isn’t Prime Suspect. Calling this series by the same name is not only, well, incorrect, but offers viewers no clue about what this series is actually going to offer them. British TV fans are no more likely to enjoy this show than anyone else, and will probably be predisposed to a let down once they actually try it out.

More after the jump!