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Prime Suspect: Season One, Episode Four

Airs Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

Helen Mirren as DCI Jane Tennison in PRIME SUSPECT.

Credit: Courtesy of Executive Program Services

Above: Helen Mirren as DCI Jane Tennison in PRIME SUSPECT.

The tenacious, difficult and brilliant Jane Tennison (Helen Mirren) stormed onto PBS in 1992 with PRIME SUSPECT. By the time the series ended in 2006, not only had an iconic character come to worldwide acclaim, but the crime series genre itself had been transformed.

From a new frame on feminism to the illumination of critical social issues, PRIME SUSPECT and Jane Tennison left an indelible impression. Admired by critics and audiences alike, PRIME SUSPECT won more than 20 international awards, including Emmys for "Outstanding Miniseries" and "Outstanding Actress" for Helen Mirren.

In the first four, one-hour episodes, DCI Jane Tennison feels she has once again been discriminated against when her superiors pass her over in favor of DCI John Shefford to head a murder investigation. Shefford quickly identifies George Marlow, recently released from prison, as his prime suspect. But when DCI Shefford suffers a massive heart attack, Tennison steps up to assume leadership of the investigation. As the four hours conclude, viewers understand why DCI Tennison has what it takes to succeed in a traditionally male work world.

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