NBC Wants to Put Maria Bello in Brit Import ‘Prime Suspect’

Once again looking across the pond for new shows, network is in talks to put actress in role made famous by Helen Mirren

Last Updated: February 16, 2011 @ 6:20 PM

NBC seems to have discovered the secret to new programming: Borrowing from our English neighbors.

Individuals close to the network confirm that NBC is in negotiations with Maria Bello (also of NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit") to star in an adaptation of the '90s British procedural drama "Prime Suspect," which starred Helen Mirren as detective Jane Tennison.

News of the series offers an early (very early) indication of what direction the network might be taking with its programming, in light of its recent merger with Comcast.

And that direction doesn't appear to veer too dramatically from its previous one.

NBC has had a fair degree of success in re-tooling British shows recently, most notably with its adaptation of Ricky Gervais' "The Office," which ran on BBC Two before receiving an American overhaul via Steve Carell. (Historically, NBC has pulled from British programming with 2003's "Coupling," and also planned but ultimately abandoned a 2007 retooling of "The IT Crowd.")

Though the network itself has yet to officially confrm its negotiations with Bello, the actress herself spilled the beans to "Entertainment Weekly," admitting that she was intimidated by the prospect of stepping into Mirren's shoes.

Bello noted, "[I'm] definitely nervous to even think about taking over for Helen Mirren. C’mon! How could anyone compete with her? Didn’t she do about 10 of them and win an Emmy every time?"