Emmys Watch: ‘Luther’ could contend for BBC America

The gritty crime drama “Luther” will be submitted by BBC America as a miniseries at the Emmy Awards along with leading man Idris Elba (“The Wire”) and supporting player Ruth Wilson (photo, right). The stateside branch of the pubcaster was a co-producer on the production making it eligible for Emmy consideration. The rules require “a co-production (both financially and creatively) between U.S. and foreign partners, which precedes the start of production, and has a commitment to be shown on U.S. television prior to the start of production.”

“Luther” tracks a London police detective (Elba) trying to find a serial killer while also trying to save his crumbling marriage. He faces his greatest foe Alice Morgan (Wilson) who taunts Luther at every turn. It’s a cross between a dark police drama and a psychological thriller that twists and turns until its shocking final moments.

Matt Roush (TV Guide) called it “fast-paced, constantly surprising and darkly entertaining, ‘Luther’ is about as far as you can get from a cookie-cutter procedural” while Jonathan Storm (Philadelphia Inquirer) proclaimed that “with the tormented Luther, it’s sometimes tough even to identify who is the cat and who is the mouse. Writing and acting come together to produce characters, more than stories, who are powerful, surprising [and] ambiguous”.

At the recent NAACP Image Awards, “Luther” lost Best TV Movie/Mini to “Sins of the Mother.” However, Idris Elba took home Best TV Movie/Mini Actor. He had contended for the same prize at the Golden Globes but was bested by last year’s Emmy champ Al Pacino (“You Don’t Know Jack”).

BBC America is the U.S. cable channel run by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC. It airs a range of British TV programming drawn from a number of networks. And it co-produces original projects, including the one-off Christmas special of “The Office” in 2005 which was nominated for two Emmys — Best TV Movie and Best TV Movie/Mini writing for star Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. In 2006, their telefllm “Gideon’s Daughter” won a Peabody and Golden Globes for the the lead performance of Bill Nighy and a supporting turn by Emily Blunt.

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