David Tennant to star in American remake of Broadchurch

David Tennant recently earned excellent reviews for his performance on the BBC hit Broadchurch, which drew over 10 million viewers for its season finale. Now he has been recruited to star in an American remake, which will air on Fox TV during the 2014-2015 TV season. The new U.S. version may go by a different name, but will retain the same plot. Tennant will play police detective Alec Hardy, who is the lead investigator on the brutal murder case where a child has been killed. The resulting media frenzy puts the small town under a lot of unwanted scrutiny.

Tennant already has a huge U.S. following because of his tenure starring as the tenth incarnation the time travelling hero in the popular sci-fi hit Doctor Who.  The British version of Broadchurch is planning a second year of the crime drama, but it has not yet been announced whether or not Tennant will be on the show in the sophomore season.  His character, Alec Hardy, is an ailing and depressed divorcee who is dealing with a past scandal and health problems, so it would be easy plot-wise to write him out of the show, although that would probably hurt the ratings, since Tennant got rave reviews for his performance.

The series’ original creator, Chris Chibnall—who also wrote for Doctor Who–will pen the premiere episode for Fox. Chibnall said, “I’m very, very fascinated to see this story in a different landscape with an acting ensemble that’s just as strong but taken from really great American actors. The DNA of the original is absolutely intact and filtered through a new prism, so it should still feel just as vibrant, and interesting, and strange, and unique, and beautiful, but just in a different setting — and then it’s exploring the dramatic opportunities that that offers up. We’re not gonna do the terrible version. We’re gonna do a great version.”

The original version of Broadchurch aired in the United States on BBC America, as does Doctor Who. Production for the new Fox version will begin in January, and it will be distributed by Shine America in association with Kudos and Imaginary Friends.