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‘Trust’ is latest BBC TV import

Decidedly British drama has American influences
/ Source: The Associated Press

Riding high on the success of its Golden Globe-winning mockumentary “The Office,” BBC America is introducing U.S. audiences to yet another contemporary British series set in the workplace.

It’s called “Trust,” a witty, six-part drama about a syndrome also familiar to many Americans — the seduction of work and its impact on personal life. It debuts 7 p.m. ET Saturday.

“It’s your basic tale of a man in pursuit of happiness,” says Robson Green, the popular British TV actor who plays a corporate lawyer spending too much time at the office — a choice that threatens his marriage.

“The stuff that used to travel very well from the U.K. was more traditional — costume kind of material,” says Gareth Neame, the show’s executive producer. “But now more and more of our contemporary series are selling strongly.”

Although decidedly British in content, both Neame and Green note the production values of “Trust” were influenced by American drama series such as “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and “The West Wing.”

“It was unique, not only because of its text, but in how (little) it cost to make: A million pounds per episode, unheard of for mainstream drama on British television,” says Green as he chats on the sun-streaked patio of a swank Hollywood hotel.

“American drama series tend to concentrate their budgets by shooting only in a few stock sets and doing very little work on location,” says Neame. “Therefore you can put all your resources into building a great set, getting the actors that you want and shooting quite quickly, so you maximize all the money that you’ve got.”

By following that method for “Trust,” he set it apart from many British-made shows that “are more reliant on going on location and all the costs that come with that.”

Loftier than 'Office'The “Trust” set includes high-tech offices and sleek boardrooms, where a glamorous team of London attorneys juggle their private desires with their professional duties.

It’s a much loftier scene than “The Office,” which stars co-creator Ricky Gervais as an annoying boss at a British paper merchant.

The “Trust” cast includes Sarah Parish, Ian McShane and Chiwetel Ejiofor, who starred in “Dirty Pretty Things,” which is nominated for an original screenplay Oscar.

Green, 39, is also appearing in the second season of the BBC America crime series “Wire in the Blood” as a clinical psychologist who helps police hunt for serial killers. Previously, he was in the British romantic drama “Reckless” and the detective series “Touching Evil,” both of which also aired on PBS.

With self-mocking good humor, Green says he got the role in “Trust” as a result of critical acclaim for the 2001 British wife-swapping miniseries “Take Me.”

“People who wouldn’t usually offer me work, because they thought I wasn’t capable of doing it, saw something in that that made them say, ‘Oh, this guy has an emotional range from A past B! He can do other things.”’