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!

Tune-In Tonight: William & Mary at 10pm on WETA!

Don't miss Doc Martin star Martin Clunes in a very different kind of role, starting tonight at 10pm on TV 26 and WETA HD. William & Mary features Clunes alongside Survivors' Julie Graham; the duo plays a pair of lonely hearts looking for love.

You’ll probably be shocked at just how different a role this is for Clunes! His character, undertaker William Shawcross, is a virtual 180 from his role as Portwenn’s Doctor, both in attitude (William is actually quite charming and nice and dare we say cuddly?) and appearance (Clunes gained something like 25 pounds for this role and as you can see in our photo, his hairstyle is quite a bit different!)

 

Six Free Episodes of Blackadder Available on iTunes This Week!

Rowan Atkinson has a new film hitting theaters this week, Johnny English Reborn, and in honor of its release, there's a really brilliant promotion going on. Did you love the comedy series Blackadder? Did you miss it, but are curious what all the fuss is about? Are you a huge Atkinson fan? Do you just love free downloadable TV?

Well, if the answer to any (or all) of those questions is yes, then run immediately to the iTunes store to snag your FREE download of the entire second series of Blackadder. Yeah, free as in to keep, not just rent. (I told you it was brilliant.)

The second series of Blackadder is set in the Elizabethan era, and features a fantastic guest turn from Miranda Richardson as the Queen herself. But, if you're interested, you'll have to hurry, as this particular promotion is only available until October 21st!

Cheers to BBC America's Anglophenia for the heads-up!

An Early Look at Masterpiece Mystery!’s Case Histories

The new Masterpiece Mystery! series Case Histories gets underway tomorrow night at 9, and introduces us to Jackson Brodie, a former police investigator turned private detective who's a bit different from most of the “types” in this genre. Based on the popular series of Kate Atkinson novels, Case Histories is very appealing — Harry Potter's Jason Isaacs shines in the starring role, the writing's witty, and the cases are intricate enough to hold viewers' attention and provide an entertaining pay off.

Take a look at this scene from the first episode to get a feel for the tone of the show and, if you're feeling brave, click through for some of my early (spoiler free) thoughts!

BBC Commissions Victorian-Era Jack the Ripper Drama

The BBC has commissioned a new eight-part drama series called Ripper Street, slated to go into production early next year. The Jack the Ripper-inspired tale is set in the East End of London in 1889, and takes place during the aftermath of the Ripper murders.

According to the BBC press release, Ripper Street explores the lives of characters trying to recover from the Ripper's legacy, from crimes that have not only irretrievably altered their lives, but the very fabric of their city. At the drama's heart our detectives try to bring a little light into the dark world they inhabit.” Cue suitably edgy and dramatic music!

The Guardian's coverage of the new drama suggests that, with Ripper Street, the BBC is attempting to capitalize on the worldwide success they've found with the recent revival of Sherlock. To be fair, that's probably true; so don't be too surprised if some of the main characters turn out to feel fairly familiar: my guesses include an innovative-but-rude Victorian police officer who loves science, or perhaps a dogged sidekick type who has extensive experience with firearms and really likes tea. Though, personally, I rather fail to see the bad in that... At any rate, the setting's fantastic. And aren't we all a little fascinated by that era of history? (Thanks, early sensationalistic press!) Ideally, this would end up being a mash-up of the cleverness of Sherlock with the period feel of Downton Abbey. (Well, if I ran the world, at any rate. Or at the very least the BBC.)

 

FYI: You Should Watch Hustle This Weekend

This Sunday night at 11pm, WETA's beginning the first series of Hustle, a super intelligent, exceptionally charming caper from the producers of MI-5 about a team of expert con men that stage elaborate setups or “long cons.” It's very similar in tone to films like Ocean's 11 or Catch Me If You Can, and if you've enjoyed any of the recent slate of American con-man style series — Leverage, White Collar, and their ilk — you'll love Hustle. It's also one of those shows I'm endlessly recommending to people who say they're tired of all the police procedurals in America. (I feel like Hustle didn't get enough love when it first aired in America ages ago on AMC, and it's such a gem of awesome Britishness that everyone should really see it if they haven't yet.)

The preview below doesn't explain the cons so much, but it introduces you to all our major players, including the always excellent Robert Vaughn (Albert), fairly adorable Marc Warren (Danny) and Philip Glennister's brother Robert (Ash, and the family resemblance is uncanny).

First Promo for Julian Fellowes’ Titanic Miniseries

Julian Fellowes, creator of everyone's favorite period drama Downton Abbey, is writing a four-part miniseries about the sinking of the Titanic. It's set to air early next year, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the tragic sinking.

From the looks of this trailer, it's got a bit of a Downton Abbey on a Boat! feel, but let's not kid ourselves. We all know we're going to love it . (And if we could get a cameo from the ill-fated Crawley relatives, as a nod to Downton…well, that would just be the frosting of greatness on top.)

 

 

News of the Day: Sherlock Series 2 Gets American Air Date!

My personal Christmas has an official airdate! Yes, the much-anticipated second series of Sherlock is now, officially, set to hit American airwaves on Sunday, May 6th, per the latest from the lovely folks over at Masterpiece.

Now taking suggestions for any and all Sherlock-related countdown calendars, shrines to Cumberbatch/Freeman/Moffat/Gatiss, or other worthy "No, Really, Is it May Yet?" paraphenalia that is absolutely in no way for my desk. (Cough.) Pictures will totally may ensue.

 

Harry Potter's Lucius Malfoy Decidely Less Evil on Masterpiece Mystery!

Lucius Malfoy solves crime! Well, sort of. Jason Isaacs, whom many of you probably know as Draco Malfoy's impeccably coiffed evil father in the Harry Potter films, is coming to Masterpiece Mystery!  Beginning October 16 at 9pm, Isaacs stars in Case Histories, based on the popular detective novels by Kate Atkinson. Though, unfortunately, if you were hoping for a return of the impressive Lucius hair, you're sadly out of luck.

Sherlock Series 2 Poster!

Executive Producer Steven Moffat tweeted something which will probably be of great interest to our Sherlock fans - fairly amazing poster art for Series 2 featuring Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch), John (Martin Freeman) and Moriarty (Andrew Scott). And yes, to my great personal relief, the scarf is back!

Full image after the jump!

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