5. Prime Suspect (1991 – 2006)

NBC is planning a “less dark” version of the British crime thriller in fall 2011. Makes sense. It would be tough to sit through 22 episodes a year of such relentlessly grim stuff. Over 15 years and only 14 tightly written episodes, we’ve watched as Helen Mirren‘s DCI Jane Tennison doggedly struggled against obstacles both external (assorted killers, sexism on the force) and internal (her addictions, her ineptitude at anything approximating a relationship). (Own it on DVD.)

Next: No. 4

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By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.