Bravo renews English version of 19-2 for second 10-episode season

The cast of 19-2. (Photo: Bell Media)

The cast of 19-2. (Photo: Bell Media)

So it looks like 19-2 is as much of a success adapted in English as it had in the original French. Bell Media announced on Tuesday that the Montreal-set cop series will be renewed for a second 10-episode season.

The French series, created by and starring Réal Bossé and Claude Legault, debuted in 2011 on Radio-Canada to critical and ratings success. It was praised in particular for the realistic portrayal of police officers. Bossé and Legault spent time with Montreal police to learn what life is really like on the job.

Fans of the French series have had to show patience, though. Because of various delays, the series has only aired 20 episodes (two 10-episode seasons) in three years. A fourth season is only slated to air in January 2015.

Bell’s press release doesn’t give an idea of when Season 2 of 19-2 would air.

The English 19-2 was originally ordered as a pilot for CBC, but was picked up by Bravo when CBC passed on it, a decision the public broadcaster is hopefully regretting. It’s basically a shot-by-shot remake, with nearly identical plot, the same characters (except for Bossé’s Nick Berrof, who becomes Nick Barron, played by Adrian Holmes), same music and same cinematographic style. The actors are different (with the exception of Benz Antoine, who plays the alcoholic cop Tyler), and Podz, the director whose mark is so clearly felt in the French version, is not behind the camera in the English one. Still, the English version is as compelling as the French one, and worth watching even for those of us who already know what’s going to happen next.

19-2 is the first English drama in forever that is clearly set in Montreal. This leads to some odd things we just have to accept, such as the fact that even though Montreal is a French city and French signs are everywhere, nobody ever actually speaks the language or even has a strong accent. There are also the occasional geographical head-scratchers.

But it’s fun to see our fair city on the small screen in English without the producers trying to tone down its character so it can pass for any American city.

Bell has qualified 19-2’s first season run on Bravo as a big success, reaching an average of 190,000 viewers a week, making it the No. 3 show on the network. The series got a boost the first week with a day-after airing on CTV, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see the season rerun on the main network similar to what it did for Space’s Orphan Black.

Assuming Season 2 of the English series goes the same way the French one does, it’ll be a roller-coaster plot-wise, starting the first episode with a school shooting (in the French version, the school shooting scene was done as a 13-minute continuous take, though it’s not clear if the English version will repeat that experiment and Podz is going to direct it again in English) and ending with a big reveal where … well, I won’t spoil it for you.

Bell also notes that the English series, produced by Sphère Média Plus and Echo Media, will be going to Cannes to be shopped to international broadcasters around as part of the MIPTV conference there next week.

The first nine episodes of 19-2 are available for viewing at Bravo.ca. The first season finale airs Wednesday, April 2, at 9pm on Bravo.

23 thoughts on “Bravo renews English version of 19-2 for second 10-episode season

  1. Lorne

    In the only bad news to the story, Premier Marois ordered the series to stop the English dialogue and only have English subtitles.

    Reply
  2. Karl Ruben

    Nice wrap-up post there, and thrilled to see that the English version did so well in the ratings. Even though there are some cop show cliches under the hood, there’s so much novelty (in the best sense of the word) to the execution that I wasn’t much bothered by the more tired aspects. I’m itching to see the original, though, so I wondered if you know whether or not the DVDs have English subtitles? The amazon.ca listings aren’t much help.

    Reply
  3. Rich

    It’s OK to have Cabot Square not next to Atwater.. It TV.. supposed to be fantasy. Nice to see Montreal being a regular North American City. If you have ever been pulled over on island. Montreal Police are Fluent in English. Professional!

    Reply
  4. Roshan

    Heard about this show from a vlogger on Youtube. I really enjoyed the first season, amazing work. Even though I don’t speak French now I also want to check out the original (hopefully subtitles) but they should increase the episode length to 16 or so. Also great to see as series set & shot in Montreal, all the Canadian shows I have seen are mostly Vancouver or Toronto.

    Reply
  5. cammie

    I discovered 19-2 when I ordered cable a couple of months ago. I love it and was disappointed when it wasn’t on tonight. I look forward to it every Thursday evening. The only problem is that its on the same time as Elementary which I have been hooked on for a few years so I have to go to on demand to do catch up for my Tommy lee miller and Lucy Lu. I also love Gang Related and have to also go on demand to watch Big Brother. One other favorite is Republic of Doyle, all these series are the best ever. So is 19-2 off for a break and when will it return.
    Thanks Cammie

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      So is 19-2 off for a break and when will it return.

      Season 1 of 19-2 is still airing on Bravo Fridays at 11pm. Season 2 is shooting as we speak.

      Reply
  6. Terry Hibbert

    Great show. Love the character delineation, especially of mylene. Please hurry the second season. 16 episodes? Cant get enough. 5*

    Reply
  7. Gordon

    Okay finally a world quality Canadian Series, let hope it go on for seasons. Talked to many people about watching it and all said just a fantastic show, Please bring it one for more guys we just love it. I personally hope it going on for years. I will not miss a show of this unless other circumstances.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      I personally hope it going on for years.

      The French series has announced that Season 3 will be its last. That doesn’t prevent the English version from going further, but it would need to create its source material from scratch.

      Reply
  8. Jane

    I watched season 1 of the original series in French with English subtitles on Netflix and now want to watch season 2 (the French version). iTunes sells the French version but with no subtitles. I like the characters in the French series and don’t want to switch to the English. Where can I find Season 2 of the original French version with English subtitles ?

    Reply
  9. Renee

    I prefer the French Version with the English sub titles..I don’t care for the English one at all!! The cops in the French version are more believable..rugged and handsome,..the english one don’t do it for me.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Am still trying to find season 2. Has Bravo quit airing the English version? Loved the first one.

      Season 2 doesn’t appear to be on Bravo’s website, but Bell has it on its Crave TV service. Season 3 is in production and expected to air on Bravo soon.

      Reply

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