Bridge Too Far Away Still

Acclaimed new US drama The Bridge appears to be no closer to extending its reach here.

The FX Networks (Justified, Sons of Anarchy) remake of the superb Danish drama about the search for a serial killer went to air last week in the US and on international Fox channels, including FX across the Tasman.

It was well reviewed in the US — The Washington Post dubbed it “easily one of the best debuts this year” — and it rated just a smidgen shy of FX’s last flagship drama premiere, The Americans.

Whereas The Americans screened on TV3 under its output deal with Fox, The Bridge is being distributed worldwide by Shine International.

It’s understood Shine may be holding out for a free-to-air deal ahead of pay — as remote as that prospect seems given the track records of TVNZ and TV3 with cable dramas like The Walking Dead, Justified, The Borgias, Damages, The Killing and The Americans.

Both broadcasters have confirmed they won’t be screening The Bridge: TV3’s receivership woes and disastrous ratings for The Americans don’t endear it to another high-risk cable drama while TVNZ is scarcely in need of more such fringe fare to fill its late-night schedule.

The last high-profile drama series to slip between the cracks of FTA and pay-TV access was Hatfields & McCoys – more than a year elapsed between its US and NZ broadcasts before the distributor negotiated a deal with Sky’s SoHo channel.

Kiwis aren’t the only ones missing out on The Bridge.

Fox in the UK also hasn’t picked up the series, although that may have more to do with Shine’s UK production arm Kudos Film & TV producing its own version for Sky Atlantic.

However, at least the Brits had a chance to see the Danish original, when it aired on BBC2.

Here, the only way to view it is to buy or rent the DVD.

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