is a British police procedural television series
shown on BBC One
, with a total of four series broadcast between 2001 and 2004. The series follows the personal and professional lives of one shift of police officers
from the fictional Newton Park police station on Merseyside
In 2001, prior the launch of the series, Merseybeat
attracted controversy due to alleged similarities between its pilot episode and the murder of James Bulger
, though the BBC defended the series, saying "there are no associations with the tragic case of James Bulger".
In July and August 2002, Merseybeat
faced heavy criticism upon its return for a second series and, in August of the same year, The Guardian
reported that the number of viewers had dropped by one million compared to the first episode of the second series..
In late 2003, when Merseybeat
commenced its fourth series, it underwent a major revamp, including the scrapping of the title sequence and theme tune, which was replaced with a record from Liverpudlian
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