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PREACH IT! Ladies, please! No crowding. Only one of you will fill Helen Mirren's shoes in the new 'Prime Suspect.'

January 12, 2010 |  6:31 am

Prime suspect six pack
Oh, yay. The TV people are producing a brand-new cop show, and they’re letting a woman play the lead.

Prepare yourself for at least one or two triumphant posts from naive bloggers who will inevitably mistake NBC’s announced production of “Prime Suspect” as some sort of hooray moment for the female audience.

It isn’t really.

“Prime Suspect” is a remake, albeit a remake of an extraordinarily fabulous British cop drama starring Helen Mirren as the dogged DCI Jane Tennison. The character was unmarried, alcoholic, middle-aged, underestimated by her bosses, and very sexy. She occasionally jumped in the sack with a guy for some good times. Sometimes she even bedded the same dude twice.

The re-imagining will involve a bang-on good role for exactly one crackerjack actress. NBC first floated its  intentions for this show in September, but they confirmed it this week during the Winter Press Tour.

We have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to amazing actresses -- which means, of course, we will have a poll.

Sure, the number of female characters on TV has jumped profoundly, from an estimated 18% in 1972 to closer to 45% now. But actresses ranging from Michelle Monaghan to Emily Blunt to Alfre Woodard have pointed out that they aren’t exactly being pelted with offers for substantive roles. So have Isla Fisher, Scarlett Johansson, Demi Moore and Alex Kingston. (Andie MacDowell, for the record, disagrees.)

So although a few probably won’t be available (Glenn Close is busy with a little thing called “Damages,” with Rose Byrne), there are many more female thesps who would kick butt.

One of our sister sites recently ran a poll about who should play the lead. But that poll lacked the ministerial, gossipy goodness of Ministry of Gossip. So here: Which actress would you like to see in that role?

As always, it's not fair to click "other" if you don't spill your guts in the comments.

-- Leslie Gornstein

Photos, from left: Marisa Tomei, Maria Bello, Allison Janney, Helen Mirren, Julianne Moore, Alfre Woodard. Credits, from left: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images; Kristian Dowling / Getty Images; Toby Canham / Getty Images; John Shearer / Getty Images for PSIFF; Jemal Countess / Getty Images; Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images.