Five unites big guns from US crime imports

LONDON - Broadcaster Five has released a new promo uniting actors from rival American network shows, including Joseph Fiennes and Lawrence Fishburne, to highlight its range of crime dramas.

The cinematic ad, called 'The Drama Continues' premiered on Friday night and cuts between the leading actors from US shows broadcast on Five, who were shot on set, between takes of their respective shows.

Lawrence Fishburne, from 'CSI', Joseph Fiennes from 'FlashForward', Gary Sinise from 'CSI: New York', Simon Baker from 'The Mentalist', Mark Harmon from 'NCIS' and Marg Helgenberger from 'CSI' were shot exclusively for the ad, which also used existing footage of David Caruso of 'CSI: Miami'.

The concept was devised for Five by creative agency Power Animal and directed by its principals Richard Hart and Keith Gray, who drafted in American cinematographer John Barr ('Frost/Nixon', 'Capote') for the shoot.

A spokesman for Five said this was believed to be the first time that Warner Bros, CBS Television Studios and Disney's ABC Studios had agreed jointly to release talent to participate in the filming of a single promo, rather than simply cutting together footage.

Five's Creative Director Nol Davis, who commissioned the spot, said the participation of different actors from different shows made by different Hollywood studios in a single marketing spot is "unprecedented", but the studios and the stars recognised that "Five is the home of US drama on British TV and like us, they see the importance of celebrating that".

A spokesman from Five said its line-up of US crime dramas were among the channel's top-rated programmes and, together, they attracted an average of 11.8 million UK viewers every week.