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"Sherlock" may not return for its fourth season until -- say it ain't so -- 2017, due to the hectic film schedules of in-demand stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. In the meantime, you can rewatch all three seasons and soon you can binge on Cumberbatch in "The Imitation Game" and Freeman in "The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies." But what then?
If you're craving more veddy British crime solving, you don't have far to look. Here are some of the best series the BBC (and ITV) has to offer, with private detectives, psychiatrists, cops, spies, and forensic pathologists all cracking cases, catching criminals and drinking lots of tea.
1. "Sherlock Holmes" (1984-1994)
If it's more Sherlock you crave (and not just Mr. Cumberbatch), then you must see Jeremy Brett's intensely intellectual (and equally arrogant) period-appropriate take on the legendary detective. This Watson is also solid, especially in "The House of the Baskervilles. »
- Sharon Knolle
A couple days ago, we reported that 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen would be doing a film based on the life of activist Paul Robeson. It sounded right up McQueen's alley: It's a passion project he now has the clout to push forward, it's about an activist (like his debut feature Hunger), and it deals with racial conflict in America. McQueen had even done an art instillation in 2012, End Credits, dedicated to Robeson. It all made sense. Here's what makes somewhat less sense: McQueen's next movie is a heist thriller. Hit the jump for more. According to Variety, McQueen will reteam with New Regency to write, direct, and produce a heist thriller based on the 1980s British TV series, Widows. Per Variety, the story "begins when four armed robbers are killed during a robbery and their surviving widows come together to try to finish the failed job." That is »
- Matt Goldberg
Steve McQueen has been set to write and direct a heist thriller based on the 1980s British miniseries Widows for New Regency. Iain Canning and Emile Sherman will produce with McQueen, and preproduction likely will kick off before year’s end. In the 1983 ITV six-part series written by Prime Suspect scribe Lynda La Plante, four armed robbers are killed during a robbery and their surviving widows come together to try to finish the failed job. A sequel mini came two years later.
McQueen, who directed the Best Picture Oscar winner 12 Years A Slave, is at work on the HBO drama pilot Codes Of Conduct, a provocative exploration of a young black man’s experience entering New York high society. It just found its lead in newcomer Devon Terrell after a 10-month search.
- The Deadline Team
Black British Batman is hopping the pond. Fox has ordered a pilot of Luther to be written by Neil Cross, the original series’ creator. John Luther himself, Idris Elba, will serve as executive producer. Luther ran for three seasons on BBC, a Sherlock-like murder detective who befriends a psychopath named Alice (Ruth Wilson) while capturing violent and dangerous criminals.
Fans are hesitant to celebrate due to network TV’s track record with British remakes. NBC’s Prime Suspect was a dud, and Gracepoint, a remake of Broadchurch, has not been the success Fox hoped.
If you haven’t seen the original, watch it now on Netflix on your upcoming holiday break. Give thanks to that handsome brooding man. Relive the classics like hiding a gun in a dead dog, or letting a sniper know where to shoot while locked in a big mac container with a violent arsonist.
The post »
- Michelle Leibowitz
Yet another gritty British detective drama is scoring a remake by a U.S. broadcast network, this time it's ABC developing a series adaptation of the psychological thriller "Wire in the Blood" based on Val McDermid's novels and ITV's well-regarded TV show which ran from 2002-2008.
Robson Green starred in the original as Dr. Tony Hill, an unconventional and eccentric clinical psychologist with a talent for catching serial killers and empathising with both victim and killer. He works with the police in the fictional West Yorkshire town of Bradfield to help solve cases.
The U.S. version shifts the action to New York City where someone has been killing women and a detective named Elizabeth Chase brings this new version of Tony Hill in to help. Author/TV writer A.M. Homes (The L Word") will pen the script for the remake which ABC Studios, Endemol Studios and Mandeville Films will produce. »
- Garth Franklin
Inside information: four female TV detectives reveal the tricks of the trade
British television changed in 1991, when Dci Jane Tennison (steadying herself outside the door, taking a deep breath, fixing a cool expression on to her face) walked into an incident room filled with a sneering, jeering, sniggering, lewd, matey, loyal band of detectives who were almost all male: a rugby team of lads, incredulous that someone in a skirt was to take charge of a murder investigation, humiliated by having a woman boss. The drama of who killed and mutilated the female victims ran alongside the drama of a woman battling in a mans world: how could Tennison withstand the hostility and outright bullying of her colleagues and bosses, »
- Nicci Gerrard
So on Monday, I watched the Gotham series premiere with about 8 million of my friends. I started writing a column about the show and what it says (accidentally and/or purposefully) about the role of Batman in pop culture right now. But working on that column got me thinking more generally about Batman: A character who has been around for 75 years, a figure in my cultural consciousness since before my memory begins. The next thing I knew, I was making a list of my favorite Batman things–the movies, the TV shows, the vividly recalled comic book story arcs and standalone issues, »
- Darren Franich
Alessandra Stanley has responded at length to criticisms that her article about Shonda Rhimes was offensive and ill-conceived, a criticism supported by the public editor of the Times, though apparently not by Stanley's direct editors. Stanley writes: In the review, I referenced a painful and insidious stereotype solely in order to praise Ms. Rhimes and her shows for traveling so far from it. If making that connection between the two offended people, I feel bad about that. But I think that a full reading allows for a different takeaway than the loudest critics took. The same applies to your question about “less than classically beautiful.” Viola Davis said it about herself in the Nyt magazine, more bluntly. I commended Ms. Rhimes for casting an actress who doesn’t conform to television’s narrow standards of beauty; I have said the same thing about Helen Mirren in “Prime Suspect.” I didn »
- Margaret Lyons
Will a James Bond (or two) ride to Castle‘s rescue? Will New Girl revisit an old romance? Who on Once Upon a Time is having a ball? What new tricks does Arrow have up his sleeve? Read on for answers to those questions plus teases from other shows.
Related Fall TV Spoilerpalooza: Exclusive Scoop and Photos From 42 Returning Favorites, Including Castle
Have any scoop on what will be happening with Ryan and Esposito in the beginning of Castle Season 7? –Dani
Well, if you want to talk about the very beginning, know that RySpo arrive at the car crash scene just moments after Beckett, »
The 65th Berlin International Film Festival will dedicate an homage to Wim Wenders and present him with an Honorary Golden Bear for his lifetime achievement. Since his 1970 debut Summer In The City, the Germany native has made about 50 films including Alice In The Cities (1973), Kings of the Road (1976), Paris, Texas (1984) Wings Of Desire (1987), The State Of Things (1982), The Million Dollar Hotel (2000) and Pina (2011). Ten films from Wenders’ feature and documentary repertoire will be shown, with titles to be announced in the fall. “In dedicating the homage to Wim Wenders, we honor one of the most noted contemporary auteurs,” said Dieter Kosslick, Director of the Berlinale. “His cross-genre and multifaceted work as a filmmaker, photographer and author has shaped our living memory of cinema, and continues to inspire other filmmakers.” The festival runs February 5-15.
- Nancy Tartaglione
BBC Two has ordered the UK's first transgender sitcom among its new commissions.
Boy Meets Girl was discovered at the 2013 BBC Trans Comedy Award, which searched for projects that offered a positive portrayal of transgender characters.
Created and written by Elliott Kerrigan and Simon Carlyle, the Manchester-based comedy focuses on newly-unemployed Leo, who finds himself attracted to Judy after bumping into her. Despite the age gap and his mother's protestations, the pair soon begin a relationship.
Casting and broadcast dates for the six-part series will be confirmed at a later time.
Meanwhile, Great British Bake Off co-host Sue Perkins is to front a new travel series titled The Mekong River, in which she journeys to South East Asia to find a river that brings life to millions of people from Vietnam to the Tibetan mountains.
The four-part series will follow Perkins as she travels to Mekong's source in the Himalayan glacier. »
The three-hour television event, based on the global best-selling book by Bill O’Reilly, is currently in pre-production and is scheduled to begin shooting this fall.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the teams at National Geographic Channel and Scott Free to bring ‘Killing Jesus’ to life,” Menaul said. “We’re already hard at work in pre-production, and feel confident we can repeat the incredible worldwide success of the previous two films in this franchise.”
The teleplay from Oscar and Emmy award-winning screenwriter Walon Green follows the life and death of Jesus of Nazareth. Executive producers include O’Reilly, Ridley Scott, David Zucker, Mary Lisio, Teri Weinberg, Charlie Parsons and National Geographic’s executive vice president of programming and strategy Heather Moran.
“Finding a new way to tell this extraordinary story »
- Nikara Johns
Amazon has officially given a pilot order to a U.S. remake of the British black comedy/thriller "Mad Dogs", taking over the production from FX. The original show's creator is teaming with "Last Resort" and "The Shield" show runner Shawn Ryan on the potential series with Emmy winner Charles McDougall set to direct the pilot.
The story follows the reunion of four forty-something guys who visit their now seemingly rich old school friend in an exotic locale. Things soon take an unexpected and dark turn. The original was set in Majorca (and later Ibiza, Morocco and Cape Town). The U.S. version shifts the action to Belize. [Source: Deadline]
"Prime Suspect" author Lynda La Plante is penning "Tennison," a new book set in the 1970s dealing with a twenty-something version of Jane Tennison - the iconic character Helen Mirren played on in the various "Prime Suspect" mini-series »
- Garth Franklin
The crime author is penning new book Tennison - set in the 1970s - and has hinted that a TV adaptation could follow.
"I don't want a face that's well known," La Plante told blinkbox Books. "A search will go out to every drama school and acting academy. She has to explode onto the screen."
"[The new actress] will have the most formidable task because they know who Helen Mirren is," La Plante added. "Helen Mirren has a very rare quality as an actress. She has an incredible weight to her, and stillness."
The writer also said it has been "terribly exciting' writing her prequel novel, which is expected to be published in 2015.
"The character Jane Tennison is only in her early 20s, »
Guest review by Darwyn Carson - Good news all! Acorn Media Group, the first company to provide live streaming of the best in classic and contemporary British television, recently expanded the service, which launched in July of 2011 with a roster of six series and 40 hours of programming online at any given time. Now viewers have complete episodes of 10 series and 60 hours of programming accessible. There’s so much material—a lot of it never seen before in the States. Two new shows are rotated in weekly (as the oldest shows are rotated out) and remain in the schedule for five weeks, allowing ample time to watch your favorites or never-seens. First episodes are gratis, so if you’re a BBC America or PBS Masterpiece buff, or simply have a passion for excellent drama, check it out at acornonline.com/TV. I did just that and found a gem: Above Suspicion, »
- Darwyn Carson
The Big Allotment Challenge: BBC Two, 8pm
Fern Britton hosts a new show where nine pairs of gardeners compete to produce the best fruit and vegetables from their allotment. Filming took place over several months, so throughout the six-part series, the cameras will flit back and forth to show the contestants' progress. While they play the long game with their gardening, the competitors are also tasked with more immediate tasks, such as flower arrangement and production of jams and jellies.
Gardening experts are on hand to judge the hopefuls: Royal Horticultural Society judge Jim Buttress, floral designer Jonathan Moseley and food writer Thane Prince will give their verdicts on the efforts and decide which of the teams will have to leave the competition.
George Gently, Series 6
Created by Peter Flannery
Available Streaming on Acorn.TV
The police procedural is as old as television itself. Over the decades, pretty much every permutation of the genre has had its day in the sun, with the genre itself often changing as television progressed. From the original Golden Age classic Dragnet, to the increasingly serialized Hill Street Blues, to the grittier NYPD Blue and the modern era’s novelistic, realistic masterpiece The Wire, the genre shifts with each age, and reflects back on the society that produces it.
You may have noticed that all of the shows in the above paragraph were American productions, and in fact, most of the genre’s heights hail from this side of the pond. Yet the British have their own history of police shows (from Z-Cars, through Prime Suspect, and even last year’s Broadchurch) to draw from. George Gently, which just wrapped its sixth series, »
- Jordan Ferguson
“The Fall,” which also toplines Jamie Dornan (“Fifty Shades of Grey”) and is created and written by Alan Cubitt, is BBC Two’s most successful drama to date, averaging more than 4 million viewers per episode across its first season in 2013.
Endemol will globally distribute Artists Studio productions, including the second season of “The Fall,” which has been commissioned for production in 2014, as well as numerous projects commissioned and in development for U.K. and U.S. broadcasters. Further announcements will be made in due course.
Producer Gub Neal, whose credits include “Prime Suspect,” “Cracker” and “Queer as Folk,” co-founded Artists Studio in February 2009, alongside Justin Thomson-Glover and Patrick Irwin, all three of whom formerly ran drama producer Box TV. »
- Leo Barraclough
Endemol is expanding its scripted programming business with the acquisition of Wales-based drama production house Artists Studio. The company makes such series as Gillian Anderson-starrer The Fall for BBC Two, the channel’s most successful drama ever with more than 4M viewers per episode during the first season run. Under the deal, Endemol will distribute Artists Studio product including the 2nd season of The Fall which goes into production this year; as well as other projects in development for UK and U.S. broadcasters. Previous Artists Studio credits include Combat Hospital for ABC and Thorne for Sky UK. Gub Neal (Prime Suspect, Queer As Folk) co-founded Artists Studio in 2009 with former Box TV colleagues Justin Thomson-Glover and Patrick Irwin. Artists Studio will come under the Endemol UK banner. The acquisition also includes Far Moor Media, an executive producer packaging service for international drama producers whose credits include the currently »
- NANCY TARTAGLIONE, International Editor
If you thought it had something to do with Woody Harrelson's father-in-law - and this doesn't constitute a spoiler, because that was too off-base to ever be possible - you were wrong. In fact, just about every theory that cropped up online speculating about the finale of HBO's terrific True Detective (and inspiring writers to mention the notorious ending of Lost) was wrong. Now onto some real spoilers. The resolution of the sprawling mystery of who was committing the ritualized serial killing of young women and children grew, with surprising directness, out of the very last shot of the previous, »
- Tom Gliatto, PEOPLE TV Critic
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