July 25, 2013

After gripping Britain, 'Broadchurch' to hit U.S.

By Alicia Rancilio / The Associated Press

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Another popular British TV series is getting exported to the U.S. in hopes of gripping American viewers.

click image to enlarge

David Tennant stars as Alec Hardy and Olivia Coleman as Ellie Miller in the BBC series "Broadchurch," premiering Aug. 7 at 10 p.m.

The Associated Press / BBC America

"Broadchurch" is a murder-mystery drama centered on the killing of a young boy in a small town.

Cast members Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker and David Bradley promoted the show at Thursday's BBC America presentation as part of the annual Television Critics Association summer press tour. "Broadchurch" also stars David Tennant of "Dr. Who" fame.

The actors shot most of the series' eight episodes not knowing who the killer was, or if any of them would end up as the perpetrator.

"We had bets going on all the way through. In our makeup van we had everybody's photograph up and you put a sticker on who you thought it was," said Colman who plays a detective. "I only got one and I was disappointed," she joked.

The series also explores the events leading up to why the murder took place and each character has an arc. Whittaker says the show could make parents think about how much they really know about their kids.

"You don't know everything that's going on in your child's life and I think that's highlighted. Even children have secrets and have friendships or arguments with people you don't know (about)."

Because there are only eight episodes in the first season on "Broadchurch," the cast says that was the appropriate amount of time to tell the story.

"It has a conclusion which is shocking" said Bradley. (Anything more) It's too long for them to wait as an audience."

"If we at the BBC and the UK said we'd like to do it over 13 hours you can imagine the response. It's too much money at the start. (Creator) Chris (Chibnall) wanted to reward the people that were committed and came with us on this journey. Eight hours felt the perfect amount. I think he did it correctly."

UK network ITV has already picked up a second season of "Broadchurch" and once again, the cast doesn't know what will happen.

"Broadchurch" premieres Aug. 7 on BBC America at 10 p.m.

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