The television courtroom drama “Crown Court” (1972-1984) was rather unique in its structure and was almost based in the “Choose your own narrative” concept that has been passed around today.
See, unlike some other legal dramas the cases in “Crown Court” were presented from a relatively neutral point of view and the action confined to the courtroom itself, with occasional brief glimpses of waiting areas outside the courtroom. This neutral point of view was probably based in the fact that, although those involved in the case were actors, the jury was made up of members of the general public from the immediate Granada Television franchise area taken from the electoral register and eligible for real jury service. This jury alone, like a real jury, decided the verdict and the outcome of the story itself!
Contemporary production publicity stated that, for many of the scripts, two endings were written and rehearsed to cope with the jury’s independent decision which was delivered for the first time, as in a real court case, while the programme’s recording progressed. However, the course of some cases would lead to the jury being specifically directed to return ‘not guilty’ verdicts.
I have to say that sounds like a brilliant way of handling it, creating a realistic, uncertain outcome and giving audiences a real treat of surprise. Explains why it lasted for 11 series.