|In what NBC Universal Television Distribution and Dick Wolf are describing as an unprecedented format sale, "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" has been sold to TF1's Alma Productions to launch a localized French version of the popular NBC drama. |
The agreement is being reported as the first international format deal for any U.S. procedural drama, and begins the expansion of the "Law & Order" brand into the global arena. Between the three current and one dispatched "Law & Order" shows, Dick Wolf and company have produced some 600 primetime episode and counting.
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. Wolf emphasizes that the absence of courtroom emphasis in "Criminal Intent" made it idea for this translation.
"We have worked very closely with NBC Universal to develop new revenue streams for the 'Law & Order' brand and this is an enormous accomplishment as we continue to establish our global presence," Wolf declares. "The three 'Law & Order' series have been sold in over 18- markets around the world, so clearly there is a tremendous appetite for the brand. By creating and producing a localized French version, the potential to grow that audience becomes limitless."
Wolf, "L&O: CI" executive producers/showrunner Rene Balcer and a selection of the show's writers and producers will be available as consultants to Maxime Lombardini of Alma Productions.
"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."