'Law & Order: Criminal Intent' has been sold to TF1's Alma Productions to launch a localized French version of the popular NBC drama. This begins the expansion of the 'Law & Order' brand into the world market, making it truly Toobworldian.
The French version of 'Criminal Intent', which will get its own native tongue title, should go into production with an eye toward a 2006 premiere on TF1. The scripts will be adapted from the original U.S. stories, though they will be transplanted to Paris and adjusted for language, culture and considerations of the Napoleonic Code. Producer Dick Wolf said that the absence of courtroom emphasis in 'Criminal Intent' made it ideal for this translation.
"For many years, 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent,' as well as 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,' has been a huge success for TF1,' says the French network's head of drama Takis Candilis. "Taking these unique characters created by Dick Wolf and adapting them for French viewers in primetime will enable a whole new, and much larger, audience to enjoy this great drama. We're sure that it's the beginning of a long story."
So here's the thing......
The French know Detectives Goren and Eames from watching the originals (either dubbed or sub-titled). Therefore, why not a crossover episode once the TF1 version is up and running? At the very least, actors Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe should appear on the new show for the benefit of the Parisian audience.
We may never get to see it over here, but knowing it had been broadcast, I'd still be able to declare the show an official part of the TV Universe.
And who knows? Maybe a show like this might be just the thing to help launch a Franco channel on cable over here, in much the same way the Beeb did with BBC-America. Sure, there are stumbling blocks, not least among them the language barrier and of course there's always that anti-French attitude out there.
But there are lots of original productions broadcast in France, many of them of literary classics. And there are other versions of the great Inspector Maigret by Simenon as well, not just the British production which starred Michael Gambon.
So here's to a successful launch of the French version of 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent', in the hopes of making Toobworld even more international.