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Fox Adapting U.K. Drama 'Broadchurch' as Event Series

The American version will be executive produced by series creator Chris Chibnall and begins filming in January.

Broadchurch PR Image - H 2013
BBC America
"Broadchurch"

Fox has added another event series to its growing slate of event series.

Ahead of the network's Thursday presentation to the Television Critics Association, Fox handed out a series order to the adaption of Broadchurch, the U.K.'s most-watched drama of the new year.

Series creator Chris Chibnall (Dr. Who, Camelot) will executive produce the new incarnation, with production beginning in January for a debut during the 2014-15 season.

Set in an American town, Broadchurch (working title) follows the tragic and mysterious death of a young boy found dead on an idyllic beach surrounded by rocks and a jutting cliff-face from where he might have fallen. Although the cause of his death remains unsolved, the picturesque seaside town where the tragedy occurred is at the heart of a major police investigation and a nationwide media frenzy.

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Chibnall will pen the premiere episode and executive produce the series with Shine America's Carolyn Bernstein (The Bridge) and Jane Featherstone (The Hour, Utopia) from drama producers Kudos. The series will be distributed by Shine International.

Broadcast earlier this year on ITV, the U.K.'s Broadchurch starred David Tennant and Olivia Colman and garnered critical acclaim en route to more than 10 million viewers for its series finale.

"Broadchurch is the kind of storytelling that grabs your attention and keeps you riveted with every minute -- which is exactly what we look for in an event series," Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly said. "We love the layered characters, we've seen how well-received it's been in the U.K., and we're lucky to be able to bring a new version of this mystery to the U.S. audience."

Broadchurch joins a slate of event series at Fox, including the revival of 24 with Kiefer Suthlerland and M. Night Shyamalan and Chad Hodge's Matt Dillon starrer Wayward Pines as the network looks to miniseries in a bid for prestige and to create DVR-proof fare.

"We are thrilled that this compelling series from creator Chris Chibnall and our sister company Kudos is going to be adapted for the American TV audience,” Shine America CEO Rich Ross said. “And Fox is the perfect partner to help make Broadchurch an event here in the U.S. as it was earlier this year for millions of British viewers.”

The Fox adaptation comes two months after Chibnall inked a two-year development deal with Elisabeth Murdoch's Shine division Kudos and three months after ITV ordered a second season of the drama.

In addition to Wayward Pines and 24: Live Another Day, Fox also is also developing event series based on Shogun and The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson.

E-mail: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com
Twitter: @Snoodit