clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

'Broadchurch' both ways: Hit U.K. crime drama debuts tonight on BBC America, U.S. remake in the works

The U.K.’s most tweeted drama, “Broadchurch,” proved to be a huge hit when the crime series aired in Britain earlier this year.

Us Yanks can see what all the fuss is about starting at 9 p.m. tonight on BBC America — and again in 2014-15, when Fox airs its U.S. adaptation.

Part character study, part whodunit, the eight-part drama revolves around the death of an 11-year-old boy in a sleepy, seaside English town. Virtually everyone becomes a suspect as the close-knit community cracks under the weight of the boy’s murder and dark secrets are exposed.

I’ve watched the first two episodes and they’re great — expertly paced, smartly written, fantastic performances, especially by Olivia Colman (“The Iron Lady”) and brooding David Tennant (“Doctor Who”).

Fox entertainment head Kevin Reilly liked the series so much, he’s ordered a U.S. remake slated to air during the 2014-15 season.

“It’s extraordinary television,” Reilly told TV critics last week at their summer press tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. “Honestly, this is not something we need to change or improve. It’s very analogous to my experience on ‘The Office.’ That show was pitch perfect. How were you going to possibly redo it in America? Well, you change out some of the cast, you change some of the cultural touchpoints and it becomes its own great show with a different vibe.”

It’s a bit of a risky move for Fox because the spoiler potential is huge (see: “Downton Abbey” season 3 finale). And unlike “Downton,” the U.K. version will have already been shown here, too. BBC America’s finale airs Oct. 2.

Reilly was mum about whether the U.S. version will switch up the ending, which he called “kind of mind-blowing.”

“I hope when you report on the original you use some discretion,” he told critics.

The Brits have already ordered another installment of “Broadchurch.” If the U.S. iteration is a hit, Fox might follow suit, he said.

“We’ll have the luxury of seeing where they head with it in the U.K. and how it’s received,” Reilly said. “We can decide where we want to go from there.”