Cracker to get another shot as U.S. series.

Mention “Cracker” to a fan of crime fiction/television and you will likely get a warm reaction.

Cracker was a series that aired, in the U.K., from 1993 to 1996, and started Robber Coltrane as a rather crusty forensic psychologist named Eddie Fitzgerald. Eddie had pretty much every vice you could think of: Drinking, gambling, smoking and even cheats on his wife. Despite (or maybe because of) these flaws, he was a beloved character on both sides of the pond. The show picked up seven BAFTA awards (British equivalent of the Emmys) in three years, as well as snagging numerous other awards, including two Edgars from the Mystery Writers of America.

While not a regular viewer of the show, what I saw was pretty damn good. Mr. Coltrane did a fine job.

Now if you were to start talking about an American version, the previously mentioned warmth would quickly disappear.

In 1997, ABC cast the late Robert Pastorelli in their version. The character, and the overall series, was softened up and had the appeal of warm mayo on white bread.

Now TNT, as part of their overall plans to feature original dramas, has announced that they have purchased the rights to the series. Robert Duvall’s Butchers Run Films will produce. In the past, Butchers Run has predominately handled projects for Mr. Duvall, with only one of the seven previous projects not featuring Duvall as the lead actor. While most of those projects were not high profile, the quality has always been good (Assassination Tango is one of my favorite Duvall films).

The freedoms of cable will make it much easier to stay faithful to the original.

No cast or crew have been announced as of yet.