Powered by i.TV
April 25, 2014

Is New Amsterdam a rip off?

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 30th 2007 7:02PM

Pete Hamill's ForeverNew Amsterdam, FOX's upcoming midseason drama about an immortal man living in modern day New York City, has some fans of a certain 2002 novel wondering if the plot is as distinct as the show's creators say it is.

Pete Hamill's novel, Forever, centers on a man named Cormac O'Connor who is granted eternal life and dwells in Manhattan. New Amsterdam also centers on an immortal man living in Manhattan.

Hamill does not intend to sue over the similarities, claiming the legal fees wouldn't be worth it. Still, he points out similarities between the two characters: O'Connor still bears the scar that "killed" him, and Amsterdam's body is similarly ravaged with scars; O'Connor uses his infinite time on earth to teach himself piano, and Amsterdam does the same; O'Connor must find his true love in order to find peace, and Amsterdam must also find his soul mate in order to grow old again.

New Amsterdam producer David Manson points out -- correctly, I think -- that immortality isn't exactly a new concept. If anything, the only crime committed here by both Hamill and the creators of New Amsterdam is that they both came up with the same unoriginal idea. For those who say the "scars" and "piano playing" similarities are too striking, I would argue that having an immortal man riddled with innocuous scars, or using a scar as a metaphor doesn't require too much of a leap in the creator's imagination.

And my reply to the "piano" thing? Rent Groundhog Day, which came out long before either this book or television show. Bill Murray's character also teaches himself piano when he becomes trapped in time. Again, it's not exactly a new concept, or a very imaginative one.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

9 Comments

Filter by:
Scott

Also in Groundhog Day: Bill Murray is finally able to "grow old" again when his character properly falls in love with Andie MacDowell's character.

August 31 2007 at 12:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
puffin

Our exact first thought when we saw the preview was "Ok they are making a series based on the Novel." Guess we weren't the only ones.

August 31 2007 at 12:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
h8rain

to KeyDee: I am glad that at someone else has grown tired of reality TV. I think the only "reality" TV I like is Dirty Jobs, but Mike Rowe is so witty, it is nothing like the rest of the dribble that is on the air now.

Speaking of rip-offs......(first let me say I like these shows, so I am not bashing them) but Heroes & 4400 are kinda like X-Men (Heroes being more like X-Men. Is Suresh going to be Professor X :))

August 31 2007 at 10:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kristen

And Oreo - I agree with you. I'm very disappointed Fox has delayed the launch of this series to mid-season, and cluttered its Fall with reality shows. Guess the only thing I'll be watching on Fox until the winter is "Bones."

August 31 2007 at 2:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kristen

There probably are some similarities, but then, there most likely are similarities to a whole lot of other books. Did Hamill get his idea from the Highlander saga? As a reader and a viewer, I'm so tired of every concept on TV or film being challenged by someone else saying they got there first. A great book said, "There is nothing new under the sun..." I wish Hamill hadn't even gone here, but at least I'm glad he's not sinking to cluttering up our legal system with a frivolous lawsuit ... at least, not yet.

August 31 2007 at 2:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brooks Williams

It's not like we haven't seen these concepts before.

August 30 2007 at 11:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Teddy

It couldn't possibly be as similar as the upcoming series "Journeyman" is to the novel "The Time-Traveler's Wife." Both are about a man who tries to maintain his family while he constantly time-travels to other points in his lifetime.

The only difference is that in "Journeyman" the protagonist tries to help people he meets in other time periods -- just like on "Quantum Leap."

August 30 2007 at 11:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hubris

Man, I think more people need to read Campbell's _Hero with a Thousand Faces_.

There is very little new under the sun. If anything, the broad strokes are probably the least imaginative parts of the show/novel. I'm sure the pieces that make them unique will be the details.

August 30 2007 at 8:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Oreo

He'll sue if it's a hit.

I still don't know why they added it mid season, Fox could use some more Fall shows.

August 30 2007 at 7:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Follow Us

From Our Partners