Netflix Orders Format-Busting Global Procedural 'Criminal'

The 12-episode series will film in four countries and take place in a police interview suite.
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Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos

Netflix is putting a global spin on the police procedural.

The streaming giant has handed out a 12-episode, straight-to-series order for the cop drama Criminal. The project is described as a format-bending procedural as it takes place in four different countries — France, Spain, Germany and the U.K. — with three episodes set to film in each.

Criminal will take place exclusively within the confines of a police interview suite as the drama focuses on a stripped-down, cat-and-mouse intense mental conflict between the police officer and the suspect in question. The series will be comprised of 12 unique stories and feature three episodes per country shot in the local language and written and directed by talent from that region.

Criminal was co-created by George Kay (Killing Eve, The Hour) and Jim Field Smith (Endeavour, The Wrong Mans), who both will serve as showrunners. Kay will pen the script for the U.K. episodes and executive produce those three alongside Smith, who will direct them.  

Frederic Mermoud (The Returned) will write, direct and co-exec produce the episodes in France, alongside scribes Antonin Martin-Hilbert and Mathieu Missoffe (Black Spot).

In Germany, Oliver Hirschbiegel (Downfall) will direct and co-exec produce those episodes alongside writer Bernd Lange (Das Verschwinden) and Sebastian Heeg (Blaumacher).

The Spain episodes will hail from director and co-exec producer Mariano Barroso (Extasis) and writers Alejandro Hernández (El autor) and Manuel Martín Cuenca (Caníbal).

All 12 episodes — each set to run 45 minutes — will film at Netflix's production hub at Ciudad de la Tele in Madrid. The series is being produced by Idiotlamp for Netflix.

Criminal arrives as deep-pocketed Netflix continues to expand abroad with local-language dramas in a bid to be a one-stop shop for content across the globe. Procedurals remain in high demand across broadcast, cable and streaming services, as most are cheaper to produce and repeat well.