C4 to air subtitled prime-time drama

The ReturnedFrench television series The Returned is set to be the first foreign-language drama on Channel 4 since German epic Heimat 20 years ago.

Expected to be given a primetime slot when it launches next month, it is evidence of the changing attitudes towards subtitled drama that can be traced to the success of Danish murder mystery The Killing on BBC4.

Channel 4’s chief creative officer, Jay Hunt, said subtitles were “no longer the turn-off they were” and described The Returned as “completely new … a back-from-the-dead crime thriller unlike anything else on British TV”.

She added: “It’s a risk putting a foreign language drama on Channel 4, because it is inevitably more niche in appeal. But Homeland was a big risk when we bought it and played it prominently against home-grown drama. The audience will often go with you on a show if they can see the quality.”

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