Is there enough room on television for yet another legal drama? NBC is banking on it, as the peacock network has purchased a character-driven adaptation of a 2009 series from Iceland, originally titled Réttur.
Renamed Ritter for American audiences, the project comes from executive producers Howard Gordon and Alex Cary, who have experience adapting international programming with the critically and commercially successful drama Homeland, based on an Israeli television series. Described as "Jerry Maguire in a law firm," Ritter follows a seasoned lawyer with an unconventional approach who operates within the grey zone of the law and demonstrates his personal contempt for the system by doing things his own way.
In addition to writing, Cary will executive-produce with Gordon, Hugh Fitzpatrick of Teakwood Lane, and Rob Golenberg and Alon Aranya of Scripted World. Prior to Homeland, Cary rose from story editor to executive producer/co-showrunner within one season while working on FOX drama Lie To Me.
Golenberg and Aranya have two other international adaptations in the works, both based on Dutch television series. One is a serialized drama called Betrayal, based on 2011's Overspel, while the other is a midseason drama set up at ABC entitled Red Widow.
Although adapting TV shows from other countries is nothing new in the industry, it seems to be especially prevalent over the past decade. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Are there any truly original ideas left out there?