ITV to reload Lethal Weapon in primetime slot

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Reboot of 1980s Mel Gibson and Danny Glover classic marks broadcaster’s return to heyday of LA Law and the Equalizer

ITV to reload Lethal Weapon in primetime slot
The new faces of Lethal Weapon. Photograph: ITV / Warner Bros

ITV has bought the TV adaptation of Lethal Weapon and will show it in a primetime slot, marking a return to the days when it used to have US shows such as LA Law and the Equalizer at the heart of its schedules.

The reboot of the classic buddy cop series of films sees Damon Wayans take on Danny Glover’s role of Roger Murtaugh and relative unknown Clayne Crawford fill Mel Gibson’s shoes as Martin Riggs.

ITV said the series will appear in a primetime slot, a tactic it has all but ignored since the days of high-profile US shows such as LA Law and the Equaliser, starring Edward Woodward, in the 80s and early 90s.

A more recent US drama, Pushing Daisies, was also given a peaktime berth by ITV but was hamstrung by the broadcaster’s bizarre handling of the show.

Another US acquisition, spy drama The Americans, was moved increasingly later on a Saturday night before being shuffled off to one of its digital channels.

ITV director of television Kevin Lygo said: “It’s rare that we find an acquisition with that sweet spot potential – the best production values and hugely entertaining drama, that we think can appeal to the biggest and broadest audiences and take up a place in ITV primetime.

“We saw Lethal Weapon and were immediately excited by what it could add to the ITV schedule, and we’re really looking forward to bringing the series to UK viewers.”

The broadcaster has acquired the series from Warner Brothers international distribution division and will air it on its main channel following its US debut on Fox this autumn.

Jordana Brewster, who has appeared in recent instalments of the Fast and Furious franchise, and Mad Men’s Kevin Rahm will also star.

The original Lethal Weapon series debuted in 1987 and was followed by three more instalments, finishing in 1998 with Lethal Weapon 4.

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