This WOWOW drama is something of a rarity: a foreign (in this case American) format adapted for the Japanese market. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of another example where that’s happened. There have been occasions where stories have been rewritten for a Japanese audience (Agatha Christie, for example), and Furuhata Ninzaburo clearly borrows in theme and style (but not in content) from Columbo. However, this is the first occasion that I can remember which has been such a strict adaptation.
This is no bad thing, of course, and it’s nice to see a Japanese police drama that's a little more down to earth. The performances, directing and photography are all top notch and I suspect that only WOWOW could make this kind of show in Japan right now.
Having never seen the US version I can't tell how closely the Japanese version sticks to the original. However, the new writers have been clever enough that it's hard to tell where the join is.
Episode six is my favourite to date, but I've always been a sucker for the “first victim of war is innocence” kind of stories. But all episodes have been good, and there's no guarantee of a weekly resolution as you'd expect from most Japanese cop shows and a remarkable lack of moralising.
Overall, this series stands some distance above anything else in this genre I've seen recently.