Ever since NBC announced that it would be doing an American version of the English-accented Prime Suspect, I’ve known who should play Helen Mirren’s part, and if you’ve ever tuned in to Friday Night Lights, so have you: Connie Britton. Hands down. No contest. End of discussion. Not only is she a one-woman home run, but since FNL is wrapping production in May on what’s likely to be its fifth and final season, the coach’s wife will be available to tackle the leading lady role for which she’s so long been ready. That said, if the Peacock’s vision is short-sighted and the suits don’t feel that she’s a big enough “name” for such a high-profile gig (hmmph!), then maybe they should consider one of these actresses:
Geena Davis: That Oscar on her mantel is a pretty good indicator that she could handle Prime Suspect’s tough material. Unfortunately, The Geena Davis Show and Commander in Chief on her resume are equally good indicators that, were she hired, the show wouldn’t last long enough for her to actually play much of that tough material.
Charlotte Ross: C’mon, admit it: You’ve been a fan since the Eve Donovan days, too. And you’ve also probably got fond memories of her spectacularly subtle work during her NYPD Blue stint. Trouble is, network execs may have somewhat less fond memories of her, particularly if there’s a reason she has that pesky rep for being a diva. Just sayin’.
Glenn Close: If the rumors are true, and the upcoming season of Damages is indeed its last, she’d certainly merit serious consideration. But, since she comes from the less taxing world of film, would she really want to jump from one series commitment to another? Hmm…
Gail O’Grady: For sure, she’s got the chops to play the troubled inspector (thanks, American Dreams). But she also may be a little conspicuously “pretty” to play her. And, like my pick Britton, she may not be considered an audience draw. (Hot Properties, anyone? No? Didn’t think so.)
Meryl Streep: Once upon a time, you wouldn’t have seen names like Geena Davis’ and Glenn Close’s on this list. That time is past. So, in spite of her still-thriving big-screen career, the Oscar winner could (who knows?) maybe possibly, just maybe, be lured to the tube by the promise of a role this juicy. They don’t come along every day, after all.
So what do you think? Is Britton Prime Suspect’s Ms. Right? Or do you have a better idea? Sound off below.
Photo Credit: Davis: Chris Hatcher/PR Photos; Close: Craig Blankenhorn/FX; Ross: ABC; Britton: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC