While The Night Manager was released on its original TV channels BBC One (UK) and AMC (US) as 6 60-minute episodes, it has been repacketed in other countries (at least Germany) as 8 45-minute episodes released on Amazon Video.

But not only that, in the course of that rescheduling it has also been slightly recut, with scenes reordered to some degree. For example the scene with the two set up robbers in Mallorca kidnapping Roper's son occurs a little earlier, as a kind of flash-forward, in episode S01E02, while it occurs more chronologically consistently (right before Pine is beaten up by them and taken to Roper's villa) in the Amazon version.

So my question is, why did they repacket the episodes into different length ones in the first place and why did they reorder some of the scenes? Was this done to make the chronology more continuous for international audiences or was the reordering done only because of the repacketing, which was done for entirely different reasons? And how far does this scene reordering actually go? Have they even switched scenes across episode boundaries or did they only reorder them inside their respective 60/45-minute blocks?

  • 3
    The 45 minute length is probably because it is a kind of "standard" length that allow for commercials to be inserted; the re-ordering is most likely a result of the editing since you need to have a certain story flow within those 45 minutes.
    – BCdotWEB
    Apr 28, 2016 at 7:58
  • After watching the whole thing, the reordering of scenes only seemed to have been done in the first half of the series.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jun 6, 2016 at 23:12

1 Answer 1


This was a BBC-AMC production. The episodes ranged from 57-62 minutes in length, which would have run with no ads in the UK and which ran with approximately 30 minutes of ads in the US (a 2:1 ratio of program to ads being common in the US). A 45-minute cut provides a more reasonable program to advertising ratio (3:1) for sale in other markets.

Some re-ordering of scenes may have been necessary for story continuity.

An article from Sweden, translated clumsily by Google, states

Mini Series The Night Manager can see on C More Play [Swedish channel] (Note: the sections are omklippta [edited] and slightly shorter than the original sections, but more numerous, as usual when the BBC sends out the series on the international market).

Another article about the BBC confirms that series are usually edited from 60 minutes down to about 45 for the American market to allow for advertising. Those Dr. Who 's we get are mostly trimmed versions of the originals.

So the BBC has been doing this all along, not just for The Night Manager. The US got the full version because we are prepared to watch 30 minutes of ads mixed into 60 minutes of programming.

  • US audiences are absolutely not used to 2:1 ration of show to commercial. 60 minute shows have about 16 minutes of commercials, and 30 minutes show about 8 minutes of commercials. That's closer to 3:1 than 2:1. This reference says 14 minutes of commercials and 8 minutes of in-show ads (product placement), which are usually far less intrusive than regular ads. (Someone's drinking a soda of a particular brand or driving a particular car - big whoop - they have to drink something and drive something.) May 28, 2017 at 2:50

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