The procedural series Backstrom had been a fair-to-middling success in the US, and was marketed as an almost crime version of House from the off having as it does an irascible lead, but with a brilliant, deductive mind. The series has been adapted by Bones executive producer Hart Hanson from the books by Swedish author Leif GW Persson. It stars Rainn Wilson from The Office fame as a detective lieutenant who sees the worst in everyone. So everything is in place for a hit, and now it’s coming to the UK.
This is what the flannel says:
After a five-year banishment to the traffic division for offensive behaviour, Backstrom has returned from disgrace to lead Portland’s newly minted Special Crimes Unit (S.C.U.). Tasked with navigating the city’s most sensitive and serious cases, he must solve each crime as he tries, and fails, to change his own self-destructive behaviour.
Backstrom’s return from exile is orchestrated by his former partner, newly installed Police Chief Anna Cervantes (guest star Inga Cadranel, The Bridge). Cervantes is one of the very few people who know first-hand that, despite his failings, Backstrom is a first-rate investigator. Charged with the near-impossible job of ensuring that Backstrom’s investigations stay within bounds is ambitious and optimistic second-in-command Detective Nicole Gravely (Genevieve Angelson, House of Lies). She is aided in this, sometimes reluctantly, by veteran Detective Sergeant John Almond (Dennis Haysbert, 24), whose faith in humanity and core decency stands in stark contrast to Backstrom’s cynicism and self-loathing.
In their first case, the S.C.U. investigates the death of a college student – the son of a senator. Initially deemed a suicide, the team discovers the boy’s death was in fact a drug-fuelled homicide. With Backstrom’s unorthodox investigative techniques, the team must utilise all of their individual skills and work together to catch the killer. Meanwhile, Backstrom’s doctor threatens to fail him on his physical if he doesn’t start making healthy choices, and his prescription is that Backstrom must make a new friend by week’s end or return to traffic.
UK digital channel FOX (not the same as Fox in the US) has snapped up the rights to this 13-part series, also starring Kristoffer Polaha, Beatrice Rosen, Thomas Dekker, Page Kennedy and Sarah Chalke.
It’ll be here in September, but it won’t be back in the US – it has been cancelled by Fox.