Prime Suspect: NBC Orders Production of US Remake Pilot

Prime SuspectIt looks like NBC’s on-again off-again remake of Prime Suspect is moving forward for real this time.

An American remake of the UK series was previously ordered by NBC, back in September of 2009. It was part of two-year, three pilot deal with ITV Studios. Hank Steinberg, the creator of the CBS’ Without a Trace series, was set to write and executive produce the two-hour pilot.

In early 2010, Erwin Stoff and Paul Buccieri were to also serve as executive producers — for ITV Studios and Universal Media Studios — and Mick Jackson was on board to direct. By late February, the project was put on hold because reportedly an actress couldn’t be found to play the lead character.

In July of 2010, Universal Media Studios inked a new deal with Film 44, the production company of Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey (Friday Night Lights). As part of the agreement, they took over the Prime Suspect project. “We are proud to continue our productive creative relationship with Peter and Sarah in developing Prime Suspect, among others… They have immense talent and passion. This is a win-win venture that is bound to create some extraordinary television,” said Angela Bromstad, President, Primetime Entertainment, NBC and Universal Media Studios. Alexandra Cunningham (Desperate Housewives, NYPD Blue) was to write a new pilot script.

Are you open to a Prime Suspect remake?

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Now, NBC has given the greenlight to produce the script. Berg is set to direct and will be co-executive producing with Cunningham. The story is described as following “an iconoclastic female detective [that] has to make her bones in a tough New York precinct that is dominated by men.”

The original Prime Suspect series was produced for the ITV network in the United Kingdom. Helen Mirren plays Jane Tennison, a no-nonsense British Detective Chief Inspector who’s attached to Scotland Yard. It’s set mostly in London and the immediate areas. Seven seasons (series) were produced between 1991 and 2006. In the final round of episodes, Prime Suspect: The Final Act, Mirren’s character is set to retire and must deal with her alcoholism, the death of her father, and the murder of a teenage girl.

What do you think? Are you interested in this American remake of Prime Suspect? Who would you like to see play Helen Mirren’s old role?

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11 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Susan Maltase says

    I like the idea of a Prime Suspect set in New York. However, part of the appeal of Prime Suspect in a London setting is that it makes for a real mystery. Everything from the actors to the situations is so very foreign to an American audience. Afterall,we have “Law and Order”, “SVU”, “Dexter”, to name just a few. These shows are superior productions in every respect. I think key to a succussful Prime Suspect stateside is casting an actress who can nail the role of Jane Tenneson. I would love to see the lead actress from Friday Night Lights play the role. Connie Britton embodies that woman of a particular age, sexy, smart, and vulnerability that I think is necessary for the role.
    Thank you for your time. My husband and I will be looking forward to Prime Suspect: New York

  2. Kat says

    Alberta Watson would definitely be the best choice! …well, from what little I know of this show. I’d hate to see someone like Helen Hunt or Kyra Sedgwick hammin’ it up.

  3. Doug says

    Great series!!!

    Sharon Lawrence is a great choice. She would have aged enough to pull off the part. I saw the whole series and I don’t know if it can be improved upon but in its original showing most American viewers would tune out because it is more cerebral and a bit slower moving in the beginning. We are way to impatient.

    It is a great series and I agree that it probably would be better suited for cable, but I would love to see NBC try it and keep it pure to the original.

  4. Mike says

    I’ve watched the British version and think it’s a great show.
    My suggestion for the lead other than Helen Mirren would be Sharon Lawrence.
    She did an excellent job on NYPD Blue.

  5. Beth Coccaro says

    I wish one of the cable networks would just get licensing to air the original Prime Suspect from the beginning, in order, and screw the re-make. NBC will only kill it before it garners an audience anyways. Someone should ask Helen Mirren whom she would like to play her character.

  6. Ceci says

    I don’t know why they have to do a remake but, since they are doing it, I only can think of Alberta Watson to play Jane Tennison. She would be wonderful.

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