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After gripping Britain, hit drama series 'Broadchurch' to debut in US Aug. 7

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press

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Monday, July 29, 2013 - 12:01 am

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Another popular British TV series is getting exported to the U.S. to hopefully grip American viewers.

“Broadchurch,” which premieres at 10 p.m. Aug. 7 on BBC America, is a murder-mystery drama centered on the killing of a young boy in a small town.

Cast members Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker and David Bradley promoted the show during BBC America's presentation for the annual Television Critics Association summer press tour. “Broadchurch” also stars David Tennant of “Dr. Who” fame.

The actors shot most of the series' eight episodes not knowing who the killer was, or if any of them would end up as the perpetrator.

“We had bets going on all the way through,” said Colman who plays a detective. “In our makeup van, we had everybody's photograph up, and you put a sticker on who you thought it was. I only got one, and I was disappointed,” she joked.

The series also explores the events leading up to why the murder took place, and each character has an arc. Whittaker says the show could make parents think about how much they really know about their kids.

“You don't know everything that's going on in your child's life, and I think that's highlighted,” she said. “Even children have secrets and have friendships or arguments with people you don't know (about).”

Because there are only eight episodes in the first season on “Broadchurch,” the cast says that was the appropriate amount of time to tell the story.

“It has a conclusion, which is shocking,” said Bradley.

“If we at the BBC and the UK said we'd like to do it over 13 hours, you can imagine the response,” Bradley said. “It's too much money at the start. (Creator) Chris (Chibnall) wanted to reward the people that were committed and came with us on this journey. Eight hours felt the perfect amount. I think he did it correctly.”

UK network ITV has already picked up a second season of “Broadchurch” and, once again, the cast doesn't know what will happen.