Original 'L&O' series handles London calls


"Law & Order" is getting a British accent.

NBC Universal and Wolf Films are in negotiations to license U.K. format rights to the long-running procedural drama series to British production company Kudos Film & Television, sources said. ITV is set to air the tentatively titled "Law & Order: London," which Kudos, the company behind BBC's "Hustle," will co-produce.

"L&O: London" will mark the first locally produced version of Dick Wolf's original "L&O" series and the first English-language version of any series in the "L&O" franchise outside of the U.S.

Angela Bromstad, president of international television production at NBC Universal, was involved in the deal, her first major move since taking over the new London-based division in September.

While format rights to the original "L&O" had never been sold internationally, Russia already has launched local versions of "Law & Order: SVU" and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," and France also has its own version of "L&O: CI."

"L&O" had been considered more difficult to translate because of differences in the legal systems in Europe and the U.S.

Wolf previously has indicated a desire to expand the "L&O" brand even further beyond North America and Europe.

"L&O," which had its 18th-season premiere on NBC on Wednesday night, is TV's longest-running crime series and its second-longest-running drama series behind "Gunsmoke."