BBC Two will screen all five series (60 episodes) of award-winning US crime series The Wire.

It will be the first time The Wire has ever aired on terrestrial TV in the UK and the series will be stripped across the week, transmission dates to be announced soon.

The HBO series previously screened on the FX channel in Britain. Created by David Simon and set in Baltimore, The Wire’s first season tells the story of a single drugs-and-murder police investigation from the point of view of both the police and their targets.

As episodes unfold, a probe by Baltimore homicide and narcotics detectives results in a complex sprawl of wiretaps and surveillances, revealing a universe in which the national war on drugs has become a permanent, self-sustaining bureaucracy.

The Washington Post said of the series: “Written and acted to the highest standards of the best drama. It’s not just good, it’s passionately good.”

The ensemble cast is led by British actor Dominic West (pictured, left) as Officer James ‘Jimmy’ McNulty.

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