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Dickens' 'Christmas Carol' takes a dark turn on FX, BBC: Hide the kids

Fox Business Staff

The latest interpretation of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," may very well be spooking viewers this holiday season.

The BBC and  FX have co-produced a rendition starring Guy Pearce for this holiday season. But there isn't much festive about it, according to critics who have called it "dark," "bleak" and "distressing."

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It premiered on FX in the U.S. on Dec. 19, replays Christmas Eve at 8 p.m., and it is also available on demand. No audience numbers have been made available. It debuted in the United Kingdom on the BBC Sunday night to 4.7 million viewers for the first part of the three-part mini-series. But Monday's night second installment dropped to 3.3 million according to Deadline.

FX, the long-time home to edgy TV series such as "The Shield" and "Sons of Anarchy" has put that "edginess" into the classic holiday tale of the meaning of Christmas. While other versions starring the likes of Oscar-winner George C. Scott, which premiered on CBS in 1984 or TNT's 1999 version with legendary "Star Trek" captain Patrick Stewart, who performed it as a one-man show on Broadway, have looked at some of the dark places in the life of its central character Ebeneezer Scrooge, this FX edition with Pierce takes it to new levels.

Here are what some critics had to say:

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Dickens wrote the timeless tale back in 1843. Since the turn of the 20th century, there have been more than 50 variations of the story produced for movies and television. The Muppets, comedy superstar Bill Murray, the animated Mr. Magoo have all taken a stab at playing the rich cheapskate with a heart of ice who finds the true meaning of the holiday one Christmas Eve. Now, the ledger of adaptations has an entry that it appears is very different from all the rest.

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