Well, here’s a thing. We’ve noted before that the big British TV networks have become more and more reluctant to show American TV at prime time on their mass-market channels; this, paradoxically, while US TV drama has become one of the most popular and respected art forms in the world. Admittedly I’m biased, but I’m still a little perplexed: Elementary and Hawaii Five-0, for example, regularly pull in a million viewers or so per week tucked away on UK cable channels, and one has to imagine that they would get more than that on a weekday night on a free-to-air broadcaster. But then, as I keep saying, I’m just a viewer; I don’t run TV channels; and I can therefore throw stuff like this about without being accountable for it.
Tomorrow night, though, ITV 1 is showing a freshman US network drama show in prime time: Fox’s Lethal Weapon. It’s adapted, of course, from the film series, the first of which was released 20 – yes, 20 – years ago. Damon Wayans is Murtaugh, Clayne Crawford is Riggs; banter will, I imagine, be exchanged, and cars chased. And it might just be the right choice for this slot: the American critics were lukewarm, but the viewers turned up in sufficient numbers to justify renewal for a second season. So it has name recognition, people like it, and it isn’t some niche cable drama with a bruised male antihero. This could work. Unpopcult is a little under the cosh at the moment – and we really don’t like it when real life gets in the way of TV – but one or other of us might take a look and report back (Friday, 9pm, ITV 1).
Coming soon: Shades of Blue, The Catch, and the return of President Jack Bauer. And The Good Fight has a UK broadcaster, so we’ll be all about that in due course.