The second instalment of the UK version of Law & Order slipped by 600,000 viewers last night, Monday 2 March, and was overtaken by BBC1's genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are?
Law & Order: UK, which is based on the US drama franchise, pulled in 5.8 million viewers to ITV1 and a 24% share in the 9pm hour, according to unofficial overnight figures. This was down from its launch rating of 6.4 million and a 26% share last Monday.
BBC1's Who Do You Think You Are?, which featured actor Kevin Whately, attracted 6 million and a 25% share in the 9pm hour, up from last week's 5.7 million and a 23% share.
Leigh Holmwood Guardian.co.uk Tuesday 3 March 2009
Post by annabelleleigh on Mar 6, 2009 21:42:01 GMT -5
A U.S. take on the premiere of L&O: UK in an article to run in this Sunday's Los Angeles Times.
Comments may be e-mailed to the author, email@example.com. I think I may write to remind him that "Rumpole of the Bailey" had quite a nice run on PBS stations here in the States. I don't think NBCU's Angela Bromstad remembers that. Or realizes we're not all salivating for more in the vein of "Celebrity Apprentice" and "Deal or No Deal." (See her comment, last graph below).
AL ---------------------- 'Law & Order' and a stiff upper lip
by Greg Braxton The Los Angeles Times March 8, 2009
"Pitted against edgy procedurals, trendy reality shows or ensemble dramas, NBC's "Law & Order" for nearly 20 years has persevered as one of TV's most recognizable and durable brands. And if it lasts a few more seasons, the hybrid cop-and-lawyer series would eclipse "Gunsmoke" as television's longest-running drama.
But even as the franchise remains a popular draw for viewers -- the so-called mother ship, along with its two satellite series "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," air as many as 90 times a week between first-run episodes and repeats in syndication -- "Law & Order" is facing a new trial across the Atlantic, where it is being judged by a new jury: the British television audience....
..."I wanted to demonstrate that no matter what the system of justice is, 'Law & Order' works," said the franchise's creator, Dick Wolf, during a breakfast at the Beverly Hills Hotel's Polo Lounge. "The biggest difference is that there's not as much plea bargaining there as there is here. And the bottom line is our own legal system is based on English common law."...
..."I love it because it feels the same," said Wolf. "But yet it's totally different."
Producers were pleased with the tune-in for the first broadcasts. "Law & Order: U.K." attracted more than 6.3 million viewers to ITV1 and won its 9 p.m. Monday slot, beating out the popular BBC series "Who Do You Think You Are?" in which celebrities trace their ancestry. The second week declined to 5.8 million viewers.
Brit crits weigh in
Initial critical reaction in Britain to the series was generally positive. Said Matt Baylis of the Daily Express: "Even though it's not exactly new -- it feels like a breath of fresh air." And the "We Love Telly" column of the Daily Mirror wrote, "It's all highly professional and heroic."
But the Guardian's Sarah Dempster was less enthusiastic: "There is the original series' clipped dialogue and caffeinated camera work, but trying to affix the same razzle-dazzle principles to the British crime drama is like trying to fit a rain cloud into a tuxedo. Fiddly. And wrong."
Much of the U.K. version of the show remains the same -- most notably its format and no-nonsense tone. The first half-hour is the investigation of a crime by two detectives. Then, just as in its American cousin, the focus switches to the legal arena in the second half-hour as prosecuting attorneys tackle the case....
... [T]here are inevitable differences, particularly in language and cultural references. Said Wolf: "They are fraternal, not identical twins. There are subtle differences." Whereas the original version gives personal information about its characters sparingly, the U.K. version delivers slightly more: about eight lines per episode. One detective eats sushi on the go rather than grabbing a snack at a food cart.
"There's also a different rhythm in the drama," said Wolf. The British "don't like the crashing, speedy pace of dramas that we have here. Characters there like to take their time when they talk," resulting in scripts that are two scenes shorter than the American counterpart.
TV historian Tim Brooks said the flashy sensibilities of American shows usually don't lend themselves to adaptation for British audiences.
"American shows are much more violent, louder, with more special effects," said Brooks, who co-wrote "The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows." "They have flashy sidekicks. They can run there in Britian as curiosities, but their dramas are much more methodical, more about the intricacies. But maybe 'Law & Order: U.K' is a portent of things to come."
Perhaps the most immediate difference to U.S. audiences would be the famous opening pronouncement that precedes the first scene. In the American version, the announcer says, "In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the police, who investigate crime, and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories." But in the British version, it's the Crown Prosecution Service that prosecutes the offenders.
There and back?
In the world of TV, there's no end to borrowing, cutting and pasting. If the show proves successful overseas, Wolf hopes the U.K. version can then cross back to America. "I would love 'Law & Order: U.K' to run over here," said Wolf. "I think it would be perfect programming for Saturday night," referring to the period when most networks, including NBC, program reruns or unscripted programs.
NBC Universal executives appear open to the idea. "It's definitely something we're having a conversation about," said Angela Bromstad, who manages NBC's studio and network program development. "It is a really great show."
But Bromstad, who had been running a production unit for the company in London before taking on her current duties last year, also wondered whether American audiences would have trouble grasping the series. "It's very British," she said. "It might do much better on BBC America than for us. Still, the show is completely reinvented, and it beautifully showcases London."
A boost to the ratings from last week but, as Holmwood points out, not much competion from the other channels. -----
Law & Order UK gains 300,000 viewers
Leigh Holmwood guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 10 March 2009.
ITV's British version of American drama franchise Law & Order gained 300,000 viewers to dominate the 9pm timeslot last night, Monday 9 March.
The third instalment of Law & Order: UK, which stars Bradley Walsh, Jamie Bamber, Freema Agyeman and Ben Daniels, pulled in 6.1 million and a 26% share in the 9pm hour on ITV1, according to unofficial overnight figures.
Last week, the local version of America's longest-running primetime drama picked up 5.8 million and a 24% share. It launched with 6.4 million and a 26% share.
BBC1 put up little competition at 9pm, with Comic Relief: the Fools' Guide drawing 3 million and a 13% share over an hour.
BBC2's US drama Heroes attracted 1.7 million and a 7% share between 9pm and 9.45pm while Channel Five's Extreme Fishing with Robson Green picked up 1.5 million and a 7% share in the 9pm hour, up 100,000 and one share point on its launch last week.
Channel 4's Cutting Edge documentary Addicted to Surrogacy drew 1.4 million and a 6% share at 9pm, with a further 224,000 on Channel 4+1 an hour later.
A special edition of ITV1's current affairs strand Tonight on Jade Goody, which replaced the advertised programme, claimed 3.9 million and a 16% share between 8pm and 8.30pm.
A new series of BBC2's Railway Walks picked up 3 million and a 12% share at 8pm while the second instalment of Grow Your Own Drugs drew 2.5 million and a 10% share between 8.30pm and 9pm.
BBC4's The Miners' Strike documentary pulled in 370,000 and a multichannel share of 1.9% between 9pm and 10.30pm while ITV2's Katie Price: Life Stories Uncut gained 792,000 and a 4% share in the same slot.
I live in the UK and upto i have been watching all the episodes that have been shown which will be episode 5 tonight my thoughts is it is a good show but with watching the US series from the past few years i find the acting more serious then your part of acting in the series which i do like which is the humour of yours is good and as well the serious side of it
Post by annabelleleigh on Mar 29, 2009 15:31:59 GMT -5
I must find a source for regular episodes of this UK version. Note also the reference to international versions of CI.
British version of 'Law and Order' a hit U.K. audiences tuning into ITV1 series
By Steve Clarke Variety March 27, 2009
"For more than a decade Blighty's main terrestrial webs have invested in locally made primetime drama rather than buying it from U.S. studios. But a local version of one of America's longest-running TV crime sagas is breaking that mold.
The British adaptation of "Law and Order," which bowed last month, is giving ITV1 a much-needed hit at a time when the cash-strapped broadcaster is cutting back on drama spending.
" 'Law and Order' has won its slot every week and is actually increasing its ratings," says Yvonne Pilkington, NBC Universal's London format head. "This is a unique arrangement. I can't think of another example of a U.S. drama being re-versioned in the U.K. for British audiences."...
...Three seasons of locally produced "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" have been successfully broadcast in France on TF1.
In Russia, a third series of "Law and Order" made for NTV recently wrapped. And there is interest from Italy, Spain and Finland in doing their own versions of the show."
AL, presumably you mean a legal source. Either way ... I have been able to find all five of those that aired and some of the French and Russian episodes also. I have been meaning to post some thoughts on the French version of "Homo homini lupus," which I thought was very fine.
"I didn't take this job to get noticed"--the sadly fictional Detective Alex Eames
ITV's British version of the US drama franchise Law & Order finishes its first series next week. The crime-drama, starring Freema Agyeman and Bradley Walsh, goes out on a high having wooed the British TV audience.
Despite being in a competitive timeslot -- up against hit US shows Heroes and 24 on BBC2 and Sky1 respectively -- Law and Order: UK has drawn impressive ratings, consistently attracting a larger audience than its American competitors.
Over 6.9 million people tuned in for the show's premiere, with the series pulling in an average 6.5 million viewers per episode -- over 25% of the total TV audience for that time.
As well as gaining impressive ratings Law and Order: UK has also proved successful on TV.com, currently scoring an average TV.com rating of 7.8. Some users, however, have remained sceptical about the show with claims it needs "fine-tuning" because of "unoriginal" storylines.
ITV's version of the US crime-drama Law and Order has adapted previous American episodes for its British sister show, leaving some TV.com users and critics unimpressed. One Guardian reporter went as far as comparing the show with: "trying to fit a rain cloud into a tuxedo -- Fiddly. And wrong."
The series' last episode sees the law and order team divided over a case in which a respected gynaecologist is accused of sexually assaulting a patient. The finale, entitled Trust, airs this Monday, April 4, on ITV1 at 9pm.
The first series ends on a new height of preposterousness in a case that finds the CPS’s Alesha Phillips (Freema Agyeman) in the witness box.
She’s been assaulted by her smooth-talking gynaecologist but when it comes down to a case of it just being her word against his, Alesha takes drastic, dangerous and, some would say, daft measures to try to ensure he’ll never go fumbling where he shouldn’t fumble again.
Fortunately, the police and her CPS colleagues have nothing better to do with their time than get behind her 100%, simply because “it’s Alesha”.
Fans of the show will be pleased to know that a second series has already been filmed, although there’s no news yet on when it will be back on our screens.