As part of my Elizabeth Gaskell project, this weekend I finally watched the 2004 (?) BBC production of North & South. I watch Masterpiece Theater almost religiously, so I'm surprised that I don't remember seeing this one. The adaptation followed the book's major plot points faithfully, but it was a lot sexier.
Some of the characterization (Reverend Hale, Nicholas Higgins, Mrs. Thornton, Edith, Fanny Thornton) followed closely on the book, though other characters (Dixon, Henry Lennox) lost all their color. Some of it seeped into Mr. Bell instead (I think it was those checked trousers...).