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Braquo - American remake in the works (+ a few words on Kaboul Kitchen)

The Hollywood Reporter announces that Jonathan Koch, the executive producer of The Kennedys, has bought the american remake rights to Braquo, the french drama series. Here is what Koch has to say :

"We've had some initial conversations about adapting it to US sensibilities. I think when we have an opportunity to understand where it's going to land here, we'll have a better chance to decide how we need to adapt. Our goals going in is to keep it as much like the original as possible. It's important that we keep all the elements, whatever distributor we end up with.

There is some appetite at the US networks and distributors to have some standalone elements in there that could come to a conclusion in every episode. We may be able to embed some of those opportunities into the first season.

Source : The Hollywood Reporter.

I've got an idea to "keep it as close to the original as possible", it's to actually buy the bradcasting rights of the two seasons and air those 16 episodes with subtitles (or dubbed). BBC4 did it with the first three seasons of Engrenages (all available on DVD in the UK), FX UK did it with season 1 of Braquo, too (the DVDs will be out in the UK on February 6).

What worries me about what this guy is saying is that they would "modify the format slightly" and then he's talking about standalones : he basically wants to turn Braquo into some sort of procedural, thus making a very different show.

Meanwhile, Canal+ is continuing to develop original series. The latest is arriving in a month on the premium cable channel, maybe it could get remaked as well (although given the subject, I doubt that) : Kaboul Kitchen.

It's a comedy series (12 episodes, 30 minutes each) which was filmed in Casablanca from March 28 to July 9, 2011. Here's the synopsis : Gilbert Melki stars as Jacky, a griddy french restaurateur who went from one country to another for 20 years, arrives in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2005. The taliban regime has been taken down, but the country is destroyed.

In the midst of this political chaos, Jacky goes there to open a restaurant and gain money by offering something the others don't have : Western debauchery (alcohol and bikinis allowed, burqas and guns banned, etc). A little haven which obviously gets him ennemies, but he doesn't care, he makes money. But at some point, he realizes it's not as easy as he might have thought, whether it's the liquor traficking mobsters he's tangled with, a corrupted police working in the area, fundamentalists living around and a warlord narco-trafficker who becomes friends with him (even if he doesn't really want to). But the biggest problem has yet to come : Jacky's daughter, who he abandonned when she was little, is coming to Afghanistan with an organization doing humanitarian work.

As Canal+'s website puts it, Kaboul Kitchen will deal with politics, morals, sex, family, terrorism, drugs, the UN, humanitarian work, democracy, corruption, religion, women's rights and french cuisine.

It's created, written and directed by Jean-Patrick Benes and Allan Mauduit (Les Dents de la Nuit, Vilaine). Frédéric Berthe (the Canal+ series H, Nos 18 ans, Hollywoo) also directed 3-4 episodes. It's starring Gilbert Melki (La vérité si je mens, Angel-A, Palais Royal), Stéphanie Pasterkamp (La Crim', Le Grand Appartement), and Simon Abkarian (Casino Royale, Spooks season 6, the Canal+ series Pigalle la Nuit).

On the picture above, the tagline "Ici, on a la détente facile" is a play on words : "détente" means relaxation (we also have the word relaxation though) but it also means trigger. This phrase can't really be translated properly, but basically the idea here is to letting us guess between the two meanings : if the poster is saying that you can easily relax in Kaboul, or that you can easily get shot.

I've seen a few teasers recently while watching the Canal Football Club and Le Grand Journal (none of those teasers seem to be online yet), and Gilbert Melki's character seems like the kind of sneaky antihero you want to watch the adventures of. Anyway, the show feels original, I'll watch it, hopefully it will be as funny as Platane.

Here's what's probably going to happen :

- Monday, February 6, 2012 : Camelot, episodes 1.09 & 1.10.
- Monday, February 13, 2012 : The soundtrack of Kaboul Kitchen will be released.
- Monday, February 13, 2012 : Kaboul Kitchen, episodes 1.01, 1.02 & 1.03.
- Monday, February 20, 2012 : Kaboul Kitchen, episodes 1.04, 1.05 & 1.06.
- Monday, February 27, 2012 : Kaboul Kitchen, episodes 1.07, 1.08 & 1.09.
- Monday, March 5, 2012 : Kaboul Kitchen, episodes 1.10, 1.11 & 1.12.
- Tuesday, March 6, 2012 : The DVDs of Kaboul Kitchen will be released.

By the way, the following original creations are likely to air on Monday nights from March 2012 to February 2013 :

- Mafiosa season 4 (8x52min) - the final season of the mob drama.
- Engrenages season 4 (12x52min) - aka Spiral in the UK.
- Working Girls season 1 (13x15min) & Les Lascars season 1 (13x15min).
- Yann Piat, chronique d'un assassinat (1x100min) - based on Yann Piat's life.
- Le Vol des Cigognes (2x90min) - based on Jean-Christophe Grangé's first novel.
- Maison Close season 2 (8x52min) - started shooting last week in Lisbon, Portugal.*
- Les Revenants season 1 (10x52min) - will start shooting next month in Seynod, Haute-Savoie.
- XIII season 2 (13x45min) - will start shooting next month in Toronto, Canada.

Borgia season 2, Braquo season 3 (the final season), Platane season 2 (and maybe Hard season 3, which hasn't been greenlit yet) could air in 2012 but it's more likely that these new seasons will air in 2013.

* They're shooting in Portugal but the show actually takes place in a whorehouse in Paris, in 1871.

While I'm at it, here are the shows Canal+ will broadcast on Thursday nights this year :

- Body of Proof season 1 (from December 8 to January 12 at 9pm).
- The Big C season 1 (from December 1 to January 26 at 10:20pm).
- Raising Hope season 1 (from December 1 to January 12 at 10:50pm) - aired last summer on Canal+ Family.
- Terra Nova season 1 (from January 19 to February 23 at 9pm).
- Damages season 4 (from February 2 to April 5 at 10:20pm).
- 30 Rock season 5 (from January 19 to April 5 at 11:15pm).
- Dexter season 6 (from March 1 to April 5 at 9pm).
- Desperate Housewives season 8 (from April 12 to June 21 at 9pm).
- Nurse Jackie season 3 (from April 12 to May 17 at 10:20pm).
- The Office season 7 (from April 12 to July 5 at 10:50pm).
- Weeds season 6 (from May 24 to July 5 at 10:20pm).

Some of the dates are confirmed, some are not, but given last year's schedule, it should be shaped like that.

The following shows will air from July to December 2012, also on Thursdays :

- Homeland season 1.
- Shameless season 2.
- United States of Tara season 3.
- Skins season 5.
- Mad Men season 5.
- Prime Suspect.
- Strike Back "season 2".
- Luther seasons 1 & 2.
- Spooks season 9.

And also the following shows (on a subsidiary channel part of the Canal+ group) :

- No Ordinary Family (airing nowadays on Canal+ Family).
- The Vampire Diaries season 3 (on Canal+ Family).
- Life Unexpected season 2 (on Canal+ Family).
- Royal Pains season 3 (on Canal+ Family).
- Merlin season 4 (on Canal+ Family).

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