British Crime Drama Wire in the Blood Being Adapted for ABC

Wire in the Blood

A Statestide adaptation of the award-winning British psychological crime drama Wire in the Blood is being developed for ABC by Endemol Studios (Hell on Wheels) and ABC Studios.

Based on characters created by Scottish novelist/crime writer Val McDermid, Wire in the Blood follows Elizabeth Chase (played on the ITV series by Hermione Norris), a police detective who recruits Dr. Tony Hill (originally played by Robson Green), an unconventional clinical psychologist who has a talent for catching killers before they are able to strike again. Hill does so by analyzing both victim and killer, demonstrating empathy for both sides.

A.M. Homes (The L Word) is attached to pen the adaptation and serve as an executive producer alongside Mandeville’s David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Laurie Zaks, and Coastal Productions’ Sandra Jobling.

“Bringing the iconic character Tony Hill to American audiences has been a passion of ours for a number of years,” reads a statement from Hoberman, Lieberman and Zaks. “We are thrilled to be partnering with the Endemol Studios team on this exciting endeavor.”

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  1. Eric says:

    Of course ABC is adapting the series. God forbid networks actually think of their own ideas. They have to keep making movies into TV series, rebooting old series, and adapting British series into American versions. The state of these broadcast networks is sad. It really is. The lack of originality a little pathetic. Oh well.

    • johnhelvete says:

      It is more about the fear of trying original ideas than a lack of originality. The networks dont want to take a risk on something original when they can adapt a foreign show, remake an old American show, or turn a movie into a TV show.

      • Brett says:

        Exactly right. Its a business, plain and simple

      • Marc says:

        Are there really that many “original” ideas? It seems most shows are procedurals about detectives, lawyers, and doctors. The plots are pretty interchangeable within each genre. The differences are in the writing–the characters and the dialogue–the acting, and the setting along with whatever soapy melodrama is overlaid on the “case of the week.” Anythings else, whether “new” or borrowed from abroad is a refreshing alternative to another murder investigation.

  2. Alicia O says:

    I see they learned a tonne from Gracepoint. Not. Are Americans that ethnocentric that they can’t handle the British accents? Haven’t they gotten past that with the likes of Downton Abbey and Dr. Who?

    • bj says:

      I’ve always found that hilarious given the range of accents across the U.S.

      • Piers says:

        It isn’t so much the accent. It’s more a matter of understanding brit slang and idiomatic/colloquial speech. Two countries separated by a common language.

        • Nichole says:

          Have to disagree with you on that point. I am Australian with English parents, so have no issue with UK shows, grew up watching them. But I do watch a lot of American and Canadian shows and can still enjoy them, even with the difference in pronunciation of certain words (caramel, apricot, pecan) and different slang and cultural references. I really enjoyed Happy Endings even though I didn’t get almost any of their cultural references!! If I hear something enough I actually google it to see what it means!! Actually learn something by watching shows from another country in that regards.

          Though have to say there are times when they portray African American characters where I understand the words that are coming out of their mouths, but have no idea what they are actually saying lol!! Sub-titles for street talk or gangster talk or whatever type of talk it’s called would be nice :P (no offence intended in that last bit)

          The problem is that when networks do try something different or out of the box, something that’s usually really good, it doesn’t get good ratings, so it gets pulled or cancelled after half a season (I miss you Almost Human!!).

    • I must agree with Alicia O about handling accents. I wanted to save my money to buy the original version of Gracepoint on DVD.

    • Reality says:

      Well, as you’ve just pointed out, Downton Abbey and Dr. Who are proof that the accent theory is not entirely true. Game of Thrones, an American-produced series with an all-British cast, is also further proof of the accents not being an issue. It simply comes down to money. ABC would make little-to-no money if they licensed a British crime drama which ended 6 years ago. They would, however, be in a position to make some money from producing their own crime drama that takes the idea from an already established and successful series.

      • Simon Jester says:

        GoT is not an all-British cast, of course. Peter Dinklage and Jason Momoa are Yanks, and several others come from the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Spain, etc. It’s a truly international production.

        British and other international shows are remade NOT because of the accents, but because the creative ground has already been laid and they are generally not widely watched. It’s about saving money, not language barriers. And because sometimes they are hugely successful (The Office, Ugly Betty, Homeland, etc.).

  3. Katie_Mead says:

    While it is very hard to try to imagine Tony Hill not being played by Robson Green, I nominate James Wolk as someone who might be able to handle the intense portrayal and be a worthy successor to the role.

  4. Géraldine BRAEME says:

    Well, I can see Paget Brewster in Elizabeth Chase’s role and Mandy Pantinkin in Dr Tony Hill would make a perfect team (but I guess that if Pantinkin left Criminal Minds because of its violence/darkness, he would never accept this new role). so why not Christopher Meloni or Josh Charles?

  5. SAM says:

    That was a really good series and I was so disappointed that BBCA never showed the final episode.

  6. Cassie says:

    I loved the books, and enjoyed the British adaption very much. Robson Green was great in the role of Tony Hill even if he physically didn’t resemble the description of Tony Hill in the novels. Already they are changing the name of the detective from Carol Jordon to Elizabeth (why??), so I’m not very hopeful that this series will be as good as the British version.

    • Znachki says:

      That’s what I was wondering. Seems unnecessary to me. The only plus in this is that Coastal apparently has a hand in it. IIRC – Robson Green is one of the folks with the company.

  7. Kay says:

    I have waited for this since the last episode of the British version.

  8. It will be interested to see if ABC will be get the series to work. I know that my dvr will be busy tonight.

  9. Viv says:

    Enough already! Why those remakes? There are so many good original American shows and yet they feel the need to remake the British ones? Can´t they learn anything from the desaster that is Gracepoint? I love the original and no, I won´t watch the remake. Yeah, yeah: “you should wait and see”. No, because I´m so sick of the whole remake affair. What´s the problem? (sorry, but that´s somehow frustrating…).

    • Michelle says:

      Not just British shows. What’s the deal with the US and the aversion to subtitles? I mean, what’s the point of remaking The Killing for example (even changing the story completely) while the original Danish is actually really good? Same goes for foreign films, such as the Millennium triology.

      But then again, I’m from a country where the only films and tv shows that are dubbed are the ones made for children.

  10. LibKat says:

    And Gracepoint hasn’t convinced them that this is a bad idea? Then hit the way back machine and look at your crappy adaptation of Cracker.

    • Kvivik says:

      No doubt! That was a totally stupid show, and I really liked Robert Pastorelli the actor. But he was so miscast in that role. He could not pull it off.

  11. Susan Chapman says:

    I lov d the original and I’m a fan of Robson Greene. Why remake a good series that already exists? American TV producers need to realize that millions have viewed these shows on BBC America or on PBS.

  12. Let’s just hope this doesn’t get pick up by ABC, I love this show and I really don’t think the US version will ever be at it’s level. I’m just wondering how a network is going to handle the very dark side of this one, a remake would be more suitable for cable or netflix, not network that will have to lighten it just so it can air.

  13. Liz985 says:

    I love British shows just as much as the next TV-aholic and I LOVED Robson Green as Dr. Tony Hill. Blood in the Wire was the first show I binged watched on Netflix. But having traveled to England quite a bit in the last two years, please don’t go overboard on the assumption that all Brit TV is superior to the US. There’s plenty of homemade dreck over there, including an odd reliance on “quiz” shows at all hours of the day and some pretty bad soap operas.

    As to creativity, or lack thereof. I have no problem with adaptations from whatever source, as long as it’s done well. The whole premise of BITW is a great one, it could be a phenomenal remake – even with American accents. ;-)

  14. Brett says:

    Because American Television produces 200 pilots a year, yes 200, there will always be remakes, reboots, spinoffs, etc.

    Complaining about it just proves your ignorance to the business of entertainment.

    • Marc says:

      Based on most of the comments, you would think that there has never been a good American remake of a foreign program, let alone a successful one. I guess that All in the Family was a figment of my imagination. Or The Office. Or Sanford and Son. The Bridge. The Killing. House of Cards. Wilfred. Shameless.

      Not every remake is Amanda’s or Coupling, folks. I just hope that Wire in the Blood is remade better than one of Green’s other shows, Touching Evil. The American version on USA starring Jeffrey Donovan and Vera Farmiga wasn’t very good.

  15. JM says:

    I loved the original, and I can’t imagine how a US network could ever do it justice. Also, I’m not sure the American public is ready for its dark nature given the low ratings for ‘Hannibal’, another show I love. Lastly, Robson Green was amazing and will forever be Dr. Tony Hill for me.

  16. Rosemary says:

    Hermione Norris didn’t play ‘Elizabeth Chase’ in ‘Wire in the Blood’. She played a detective called Carol Jordan. Who’s ‘Elizabeth Chase’ when she’s at home?

  17. Lisa says:

    A.M. Homes is a very well respected novelist , very big in the UK as well as the US. she is actually the perfect choice for adapting this. although the UK version has run on some outlets WITB has not been exposed to many in the States. Its is not serialized, like “Broadchurch” and therefore will be easier to make the transition. “castle” and “bones” are getting old and there is plenty of room for a smart procedural. Im very excited. good for ABC !

  18. Alisa says:

    Oh no. This isn’t going to end well. This was an excellent series and ABC cannot do it justice.

  19. Sheila says:

    No, no, no, no, NO!!!!! Leave my shows ALONE! You cannot beat Robson Green in that role; why even try?

  20. Fido says:

    Could be good unless they condense the original ~2hr stories into 45mins, because unlike many UK shows of this length, the Wire In The Blood ones weren’t padded out with faf.

  21. Dale says:

    I Would Like to See Rufus Sewell play the Role, or get Robson Green to play it (again). But from what I understand he’s doing one of those Priest as Detective Shows (Not as the priest, but an Actual Detective helping the aforementioned Priest)