Distributor DRG has recently secured a third season format deal with French prodco Ego Productions for TF1's adaptation of ITV1's ratings juggernaut Doc Martin.
The French Doc Martin stars Thierry Lhermitte as Dr Martin Le Foll, the curmudgeonly GP of a picturesque Breton village called Port-Garrec. Private channel TF1 aired the first 6 x 52-minute series of its Doc Martin in january 2011, with an average of 7m viewers. Then Dr Le Foll returned from november to december of the same year with a second six-part series whose ratings suffered against Castle, aired by pubcaster France 2. The first two episodes caught 6.2m and 5.3m viewers (23%) (1), below the launch of series one (2), and the final two got 5.9m and 5.6m (22%) (3).
While the pleasant first series of Doc Martin succeeded in delivering an enjoyable French transplant, series 2 took a number of liberties with its Brit equivalent, using the original episodes more as a "toolbox" and getting closer to TF1's usual monday night comedy series. The format sold by DRG has been adapted locally by ZDF in Germany (Doktor Martin), Antena 3 in Spain (the excellent Doctor Mateo), and most recently on Mega in Greece as Kliniki periptosi. It could also be adapted in Russia.
The original Doc Martin, starring Martin Clunes and Caroline Catz, will be back on ITV1 for a sixth series in 2013. In the meantime Catz will join the cast of DCI Banks as the new sidekick of the character played by Stephen Tompkinson.