Fargo TV series to air on Channel 4

Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton as they appear in Fargo Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard and Billy Bob Thornton as Lorne Malvo in Fargo

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Channel 4 is to broadcast the TV adaptation of the Coen brothers' Oscar-winning film Fargo, starring Billy Bob Thornton and Sherlock's Martin Freeman.

The 10-part series will have its US premiere in April on cable channel FX and air in the UK shortly afterwards.

Set in Minnesota, it will focus on a small-town insurance salesman preyed upon by a manipulative drifter.

Colin Hanks, Oliver Platt and Breaking Bad's Bob Odenkirk also have roles in the MGM Television production.

Jay Hunt, Channel 4's chief creative officer, said Fargo was "a dark comedy, beautifully directed with a stunning cast".

Joel and Ethan Coen, whose 1996 film won Oscars for their screenplay and lead actress Frances McDormand, are executive producers on the series.

British star Freeman plays the role of Lester Nygaard, an insurance salesman based on the character William H Macy played in the film.

As well as Sherlock, the 42-year-old is best known for his roles in BBC sitcom The Office and as Bilbo Baggins in the Hobbit blockbuster film series.

Thornton plays Lorne Malvo, a character the actor described as a "mysterious stranger from out of town" at a Fargo press event in January.

The 58-year-old previously worked with the Coen brothers on their films The Man Who Wasn't There and Intolerable Cruelty.

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