Netflix recently advertised a new criminal series called "Criminal: United Kingdom". The series is really minimalist - shot in two rooms (and a bit of corridor)*, 50 minutes long episodes - that show efforts of the police investigators to get the truth out of suspects.
To my surprise, very soon after I've found "Criminal: Germany", "Criminal: France" and "Criminal: Spain"
Edit: the French trailer shows fragments from all versions:
Each of the series is really short and contains (currently) only 3 episodes. But why would Netflix ask 4 different production groups from 4 different countries to make the same series?
Usually, when someone decides to make a remake, it is made quite some time after the original movie/series, here we have something more akin to an Internet challenge: "Make a short series about interrogation!".
Why did Netflix decide to produce 4 (so far) same series in 4 different countries?
To clarify: Those are not the same cases, but it is still the same series, even while it is advertised as 4 different ones. It has been even filmed at the same location!
I find it a highly unusual and weird move because
- Not everyone likes to watch undubbed movies with subtitles, so it is quite possible that they will stick only to the version in his/her native language, making 3/4 of the production a bit of a waste.
- One country series is very short - it is just three episodes. You barely getting used to characters and start liking them when it's over and you have to switch to a different people speaking a different language.
So what made Netflix make such an unusual production?
Just to clarify:
- The premise of the story is the same in every version, which gives (currently) 3 x 4 = 12 different criminal cases.
- I honestly doubt this is a "CSI [your place]" effect since there is almost nothing story-wise that is explicit to a given country (one notable exception is the cold case involving East-West Germany relations). If the title wouldn't display it, I honestly wouldn't know that we are in a given country (and no, the action never leaves the building, always the same building).
- I honestly don't believe that this was the "we just sell service so let's make something cheap to fill the gap" case of Netflix - this series was quite advertised when it appeared.
*Actually, according to Wikipedia they are THE SAME rooms - every version was filmed at the same location.