Beeb busy in States

'Justice,' other scripts target cablers

The BBC is prepping a U.S. version of legal thriller “Criminal Justice.”

Scripts are being developed by BBC Worldwide Prods. in Los Angeles, overseen by executive producer Julie Gardner, the drama topper behind the 2005 revival of “Doctor Who.”

“Our development is mostly geared toward cable,” said Gardner, who aims to enlist a U.S. cable network as co-producer. “We can be very far-reaching in who we develop for.”

“Criminal Justice,” stripped across five successive nights, takes a crime and examines how the accused is treated by the British criminal justice system.

Gardner is attending Mip TV to hype the new season of sci-fi tale “Torchwood,” filmed in the U.S. and made in tandem with majority funder Starz for both U.S. and British auds.

As U.S. cable nets increasingly help finance TV drama, Gardner said she was keen to collaborate with the likes of HBO and Showtime and work on more projects with Starz.

Before relocating to Los Angeles two years ago, Gardner was head of drama at BBC Wales.

There, her credits included high-concept shows “Life on Mars” and “Ashes to Ashes” plus more mainstream drama such as “Mistresses.”

“One of the great things about being in America is the sheer volume of opportunities,” she said.

The exec told Daily Variety that she is also working on several titles that are reformatted takes on U.K. dramas.

Additionally, she is discussing original pieces with Brit screenwriter Russell T. Davies, who wrote the scripts for the rebooted “Doctor Who.”

Before that the scribe had a reputation for writing edgier fare such as “Queer as Folk,” the sexually explicit drama about gay men living in the northern English city of Manchester. “One of the ideas Russell is developing is in the same space as ‘Queer As Folk,’ ” Gardner said.

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