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NBC Orders Pilot For Women’s Prison Drama “Bad Girls” Based On Award-Winning UK Series

NBC Orders Pilot For Women's Prison Drama "Bad Girls" Based On Award-Winning UK Series

Well look at NBC trying to up its edgy programming game :)

First there was the announcement that they’re in the Easy Rawlins business, considering giving Walter Mosley’s private dic his own weekly series. Now comes news that they’ve ordered a pilot for a new drama series titled Bad Girls – a women’s prison drama based on the UK series of the same name.

I looked up the UK series the NBC pilot pilot will be based on and learned that the award-winning show ran from 1999 to 2006 on ITV, a network in the UK. Apparently you can find it on DVD in the US currently – although it doesn’t look like you’ll find every single season.

Another thing I discovered is that the UK series had quite a few black actors and actresses in its cast – most notably, Colin Salmon, a name that’s come up a number of times on this site. Salmon played a character named Rowan Dunlop, the prison’s senior medical officer.

Other black actors in the series include Antonia Okonma who played one of the inmates, Darlene Cake, doing four years for smashing a girl in the face with a glass; Angela Bruce who played a character named Mandy Goodhue, one of the prison’s officers; Sharon Duncan-Brewster as Crystal Gordon, doing 12 months for shoplifting and harboring escapees; and Kim Oliver as Buki Lester, doing 30 months for knifing her pimp,

There might be others I missed.

There are of course white cast members too, both inmates and prison staff. But we don’t care about them :)

The series’ website goes into a lot more detail about each character, and even features an interview with the actors playing each part. I just haven’t had time to go through them all.

All this to say that I assume NBC’s version will follow similar *mixed* casting – black and non-black inmates and prison staff, male and female – and maybe even follow the same characters and storylines. The report doesn’t say.

I read that, at one point, back in the early 2000s, HBO was developing a U.S. remake, though I don’t believe anything came of that; and in 2006, FX was also planning on bringing an American version of Bad Girls to US TV screens. It doesn’t look like either will happen now, with NBC taking a stab at it. I wonder if there are any connections between the 3, like maybe it started with HBO, moved to FX, and has now ended up on NBC, with the same creative team behind it each time.

But a prison drama on NBC? It’ll have to be sanitized, which, I think, will kill its authenticity, and thus, its *edge*. I guess I’m thinking something gritty like Oz, which was on HBO.

Well… I’ll take the old wait-and-see approach on this one.

Who’s up for a women’s prison drama on NBC?

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Ohhhh Nbc…Nbc..Nbc… what are you doing over there…… …………I dont get why they cant come up with good programming…………..Svu is still good.. even though i dont like the two new people they brought on………I think they should have brought in this wonderful actor………Colin Salmon….he is outstanding …………and would have been an excellent choice to replace Christopher Meloni…… Svu and Harry’s Law are about the only two shows on Nbc thats worth watching…

they had the show “Persons Unknown ” which people loved and they not only left us dangling in the wiind… with the ending… they then didnt bring it back for another season… and thats bullcrap.. to cut off tv shows that people actually like and watch.. every week.. is just plain stupid…for what all that reality tv crap….


it sounds like its going to be good… i hope so…. i mean man when Hbo had Oz it was wicked…but Nbc is no Hbo..


lets give NBC a chance……

if the show is good every network will want one black show!!! lol


A< I hope not! lol

Lisa Todd

Please check out the above address.


I enjoyed the original series for a bit, but I think I may have to take a pass on this. Stateside adaptations are almost always disappointing.


Sandra –

I LOVE your comment and sadly agree with everything you said. I’ve seen this before.

For anyone that’s curious, here’s how it will go down:

They will find the WORST looking black women they can – lazy eye, mannish, fat guts – the worst they can find. And then give them padding , grease paint, bad lighting, fake scars, false teeth, and bad fitting costumes.

None of the women will be intelligent or speak proper english. They will all be from the gutter – fierce and animal-like, constantly fighting with one another, giving each other beatdowns, calling each other b-ch and h-.

Several will be crack addicts, they’ll all have multiple children .

The white lead will be kind hearted, well spoken, intelligent, innocent, beautiful and slim, and be always be (mysteriously) in full makeup and tailored prison uniform. She’ll be in jail because of some terrible misunderstanding – a white collar crime where she took the fall for someone else, or some other miscarriage of justice.

The angry, bitter, black women will shun her at first, but soon she will be ‘down’ and be elected leader of all the women in the prison. The black and latina women will hang on her every wise word. In turn, she will calm their wild animal natures, make them stop fighting each other.

Even though the white woman is in a jail, a handsome rich doctor/lawyer/judge/prison official will fall in love with her – there will be several love triangles involving her, no matter how impractical and ridiculous considering the circumstances.

All the black women will be lesbians or in abusive relationships with men

Nothing new here.



1) Network execs will suddenly remember that latina and black actress exist!

2) Black and latina actresses (who will make up the majority of the prison pop of course) will be expected to ugly themselves and speak like they have an I.Q. in the single digits.

3) The audience will experience the show through the eyes of the lead [b]WHITE[/b] actress who will be the new kid on the block – in on some bulldoodoo charge like: stopped at the airport on her way to a ski trip in the Swiss Alps with a shoplifted diamond necklace.

4) Every black/latina prisoner (no exception) will have a sob story to tell (never went to school; pregnant by 8 different men; sexually-assaulted by everyone, anger issues, think they’re unworthy, ugly, has an enormous scare). They will rely almost entirely on White girl to show them the way. As a result, one of them may find the courage to borrow a book from the prison library (this of course will be played out againt dramatic music while White girl smiles encouragingly – this particular scene may score White girl an Emmy).

5) White girl will be targeted for sex/beatdowns and will rely on a black/latina for safety.

6) White girl will be given a nickname that either makes fun of her “whiteness” and/or her rich background.

7) White girl will beg black girl to teach her some rhymes (a prison talent show will follow with White girl spitting rhymes and prison pop cheering her on – giving her props).

8) White girl will beg to have her hair breaded/twisted.

9) White girl will be loyal and not snitch on prison bully (of course she will be thrown in the hole – perhaps another Emmy-winning performance?). She will gain the protection of the bully, but a new, even more street, inmate will arrive and she will again have to fend for herself.

Nothing new to see here….NEXT

************* The only project prison-related project that I am willing to watch is a documentary that EXPOSES this sick industry for what it truly is. Prisons are on the bloody stock exchange. When you have black men (mostly) being thrown in for Mickey Mouse charges and Pharmaceutical companies (same companies making cough syrup) providing lethal injection drugs to prisons…It gives one reason to pause. People are literally making a killing on their way to the bank.

When it comes to the prison industry, it’s no joke! I will seek other forms of entertainment.


$50 says there will be 2 black female leads. lol

Dankwa Brooks

NBC needs to do…something. Their programming for the most parts SUCK and L&O:SVU is about their only viable commidty in the drama department. Of course anything on main network TV will be sanitzed, but if done well it should be ok.


i wish they would have left this franchise alone.


I agree SVU is the only drama worth watching on NBC. Hopefully, all of that will change soon.

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