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Which Brit series could have an American remake?

by Brad Trechak, posted Feb 24th 2009 11:50AM
Absolutely FabulousDavid Mamet's daughter Zosia has been cast in the role of Saffron for the Fox remake of the British comedy Absolutely Fabulous. The article also mentions that The CW has green-lit a pilot for a new version of Melrose Place (as was previously rumored). I guess 90210 wasn't enough for them.

I could go into a rant about how networks don't have any original ideas and the real originality can be found in cable channels, but you've heard it before. While I have no opinion about any version of Melrose Place, I did enjoy AbFab in its original run. I don't see an American version working out on Fox, though. I just don't think they'd get it.

With all this in mind, there are several excellent British series that have not made it across the pond for various reasons. Two of my favorites are BlackAdder and The Young Ones. BlackAdder is too British in its sensibilities and The Young Ones is too erratic to make it on American TV.

We already have Life on Mars and The Office, among others. What Brit series do you think could successfully translate to American networks?

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HU$TLE would be good! with Dean Winters and Jeremy Sisto as two grifters =)

January 21 2011 at 12:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think if someone were to write a really good version of 'The Young Ones' that American's would actually GET, it would be a hit. Most American's don't understand British humour, which is sad in a way. 'The Young Ones' was a brilliant show while it ran.
And honestly, remaking AbFab might be a good thing. In all honesty, if Jennifer Saunders is on board, I don't know what could go wrong. She did write a few episodes of 'Rosanne' if you can recall, and those were the most hilarious episodes. Anything that Saunders watches over is bound to be good. AbFab is a Brit - and lets face it, an American - classic, and she knows better than to let it flop.
I guess it's all up to the viewers now.

April 03 2009 at 12:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm a huge fan of British television. I really think that they should be left alone, rather than getting remade for the American audience. If they do get remade for the US, I won't be too bothered about it. However, there is one show that they can NEVER do an American remake and that is Doctor Who. Absolutely against that idea! Doctor Who is essentially a British institution and it will always remain British!

February 25 2009 at 8:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Key Rick

Besides Brit sitcoms, I know Graham Norton's style talk show failed stateside; however, a Barry Humphries/Dame Edna style one could work. RuPaul's old enough and quick with innuendo

February 25 2009 at 3:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Is there some degenerative brain disease that prevents Americans from watching the actual British shows themselves? In this day and age when there's no technical reason why a show in the UK can't be available in the US the very same day, why do they need to be remade at all?

February 25 2009 at 1:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mrbooze's comment

You'll have noticed that the best British shows adopt a limited run (mini-series if you will) approach. American broadcasters prefer an open ended, ad-infinitum approach so they can maximize profits in syndication. You see, it's not about pleasing the audience, but pleasing the investor. Thus ideas that are wrapped up before they are played out in Britain, are stretched out until they are exhausted and banal over here.

February 25 2009 at 11:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Doesn't anyone in Hollywood have a creative idea of their own they can focus on rather than lifting ideas from BBC?

February 24 2009 at 9:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm from the UK and remakes always worry me, but...

Mitch Hurwitz is behind AbFab and I have ultimate faith in him (Arrested Development is the finest ever sitcom of any country - and now Michael Cera has agreed to sign on!!- http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/watch_with_kristin/b101449_sources_michael_cera_joins_arrested.html)

SO, if Mitch was given the reigns, I'd trust him with...

Alan Partridge (genius)
Absolute Power (great sitcom about a PR firm representing governments, big business etc)
People Like Us (there was a third season planned to take place in the U.S.)
Spaced (actually, it's too special to ever really be touched)
Peep Show (believe one is being planned after a false-start failed pilot)
Nathan Barley
Brass Eye
Green Wing (possibly too surreal)
League of Gentlemen (again, possibly too surreal)
The Thick of It (a pilot with John Michael Higgins was made, but not picked up)

Love all these shows, and as a Brit, I'm patriotically annoyed to name Arrested Development as my number 1 all-time favourite)

February 24 2009 at 7:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I tend not to be a fan of US remakes of foreign non-reality programming.

However, I would've given the adaptation of The IT Crowd with Joel McHale a shot. I think he's got the snark to be able to pull it off.

February 24 2009 at 7:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh, and hey. What about the flip side?

Just watched the premiere episode of Law & Order UK. Not bad. When was the last time an American show got remade in Britain?


February 24 2009 at 7:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I would like The I.T. Crowd...but with the original actors. So basically I just want more of them. Same with Black Books, and, of course, Spaced. Not McSpaced.

February 24 2009 at 3:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bret's comment

came here to say basically this exact comment. literally every single point you made.

February 26 2009 at 4:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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