For a network that's struggling for ratings, like the CW has all year long, this is a wise idea. And if they're smart enough to pick the right Brit shows, they could turn a tidy profit -- which is the point for the bean counters after all. From our point of view, there are at least six excellent British imports CW could re-air without altering a thing. Here are our choices:
Now we can add game show host to the list of accomplishments. The British competition show The Cube is coming to CBS and Neil Patrick Harris will be the host. You may recall that Fox attempted to get The Cube to America. After spending a few months developing it, the network dropped it in December.
'Torchwood,' for those not familiar with the original BBC cult favorite, follows the adventures of a group of secret government agents who handle and cover up alien encounters here on Earth, 'Men In Black' style. It's also very British in its origins (the show is a spin-off from the beloved 'Doctor Who' franchise), environment (the cast rarely ventures outside of their Welsh headquarters) and sensibilities (every character is bi-sexual, for starters).
That's still no excuse for stealing material, if that is in fact the case with this British ad. UK comic Micky Flanagan claims an ad agency stole a joke from his act for a phone service commercial and is a stone's throw away from filing a lawsuit. Punchline Magazine posted videos of the joke and the ad. Is this just a coincidence or is the ad pulling a Carlos Mencia?
First, listen to Flanagan's joke...
And now, watch the ad, which is after the jump.
Species 456 finally touched down on Earth to scare the crap out of civil servant John Frobisher -- and this reviewer -- in the third suspenseful hour of Torchwood: Children of Earth.
Day two was an action-packed thrill ride from start to finish, but day three (scripted by Russell T Davies and James Moran) was the most intense episode of the miniseries so far. For the second time this week,Torchwood had me on the edge of my seat with some truly chilling moments. But before things got too creepy, there was some fun to be had with the team getting back together, finding a new Hub, and lifting a few credit cards and laptops from unsuspecting Londoners.
This is a great opportunity to get a little Scrooge-y and vent about what I want to see corrected/improved/altered in TV in 2009. Is it wrong that I hope the bigwigs at the networks and cable companies are surfing the net and take my grievances to heart? Is it wrong that I still believe they care about what viewers think? Yeah, probably, but here's my wish list anyway:
If you love British comedy, people who make jabs at America or men dressed in drag for that matter (we won't judge), then Little Britain USA (premiering Sunday, Sept. 28 at 10:30 PM EST on HBO) should be right up your alley.
David Walliams and Matt Lucas, who created and starred in the hit BBC series Little Britain, are bringing their irreverent humor and a bunch of their best characters -- like Phyllis, who believes her dog talks to her; Carol Beer, the meanest hospital receptionist you'll ever meet; and Bubbles Devere, a wildly inappropriate and totally uninhibited British socialite -- to America.
We talked to David and Matt about their dream of dressing George Clooney up as a lady, why following in Sacha Baron Cohen and Ricky Gervias' footsteps is just fine with them and how Brits and Americans really differ. (Hint: Men don't shave their bikini lines over there.)
There have been production changes, the first pilot was trashed, they've inserted new characters, they've remade the mythology of the show (with the approval of the British creators), and now more news. The character of Annie Norris on Life on Mars will be played by Gretchen Mol. Yes, the beautiful, sexy and very blond Gretchen Mol. (Okay, she can dye her hair.)
I have the ultimate respect for Ms. Mol. She was excellent in 3:10 to Yuma (a really amazing Western that should have gotten some Oscar consideration). I just think she's the wrong choice for the role of Annie.
The show is about a scientist who invents the first successful human clone to be used as a prototype super-soldier, but the clone ends up acting like a pacifist. The series is also being directed by The King of Queens alum, Rob Schiller.
Will the show work? I'm honestly not sure. The British are a different audience than the American one and they have a different style for their comedies. Their seasons are traditionally six episodes and all written by the same person. This format allows for more risk-taking in their programming and no question of ownership. Many American shows have enjoyed success over there, but I can't think of a single example of an American being the creative force behind an original and successful British show.
I just hope Mr. Chase can adjust to the much smaller budgets of British productions.
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