'Only Fools and Horses', 'Misfits': The British invasion of US TV
Published Feb 21 2012, 17:49 GMT
By Catriona Wightman and Morgan Jeffery
We're well into pilot season over in the US now, and we've noticed something - a lot of the shows in development sound a little bit familiar. Why? Well, it's only because they're remakes of our favourite TV programmes!
The US remake isn't a new phenomenon - just last year NBC dabbled in short-lived remakes of Free Agents
and Prime Suspect
- but this year there seem to be a fair few in the works.
To help you keep up, we've compiled a little guide to the shows making the move to the sunnier climes of LA... Read on to find out which shows could be returning to your screens with American accents!
Only Fools and Horses (ABC)Starring:
John LeguizamoThe verdict:
Our first reaction to this Americanisation was one of horror - how could ABC even think about remaking Britain's most beloved sitcom? Still, the casting of John Leguizamo as Del has us intrigued - we can picture the Romeo + Juliet
star as a dodgy dealer and con artist
. But is the image of David Jason's Derek Trotter simply too strong to erase? We reckon that this one stands a fighting chance, but that the weight of public expectation might count against it.
No names announced yet.The verdict:
ABC's obviously feeling pretty confident about Mistresses
- they've already ordered a season of the show (though you'll have to wait until 2013 to see it). We think this could be a hit - the original Mistresses
was always fun in a camp, over-the-top kind of way, and it could translate well across the pond. Plus Gossip Girl
writer KJ Steinberg
is behind the script, which sounds good to us.
White Van Man (ABC)Starring:
Kyle Bornheimer, JK SimmonsThe verdict:
Some might be surprised that this fledgling UK comedy is getting the remake treatment, but then it was BBC Three's highest rated sitcom launch ever. Bornheimer has bad form with remakes of UK shows, with his Worst Week
- a remake of the BBC's The Worst Week of My Life
- running for just 16 episodes. Spider-Man
actor Simmons is a solid choice for the lead's father, but with a working title of White Truck Dude
- yes, really - we don't have the highest hopes for this one.
Misfits (no network attached)Starring:
No names announced yet.The verdict:
We're not sure of the status of Misfits
' US remake at the moment - news about its existence emerged in October and then it all went quiet. It doesn't even seem to have a network yet. But we thought it was worth including, since we're huge Misfits
fans. What we do know is that Josh Schwartz has signed up to develop the project. This could be amazing - he's behind shows like The OC
and Gossip Girl
. On the other hand, will Schwartz be gritty enough for the naughty, wicked Misfits
we know and love? A lot depends on whether this ends up on network or cable... and on the casting, of course.
Bad Girls (NBC)Starring:
Jurnee Smollett (Friday Night Lights
Much like Mistresses
, Bad Girls
was guilty pleasure stuff when it aired over here - we think this could be a hit over in the US if it's done well. And hey, it's got a Friday Night Lights
star in it, so that's a start. And
its developer John Wells has previous in turning UK hits into US successes - he worked on the Shameless
adaptation (as well as little shows like ER
, The West Wing
.) We're hopeful about this one, as long as it doesn't lose its campy fun and become too serious.
Friday Night Dinner (NBC)Starring:
Allison Janney, Tony Shalhoub, David KoechnerThe verdict:
The first six-part series of this quirky Channel 4 sitcom was a little gem and we've been eagerly anticipating the second series for a while now, so had mixed feelings over news on NBC's remake. But the initial signs are good - Greg Daniels, who spearheaded the US adaptation of The Office
, is once again at the helm and, unlike some adaptations, the show's format can be relocated Stateside with relatively few changes. Plus, The West Wing
's Allison Janney and Monk
's Tony Shalhoub are inspired choices for the roles originally played by Tamsin Greig and Paul Ritter.
Jonny Lee MillerThe verdict:
Ah yes, the remake that isn't a remake, honest. There were a few raised eyebrows when CBS announced that it was developing this pilot, which will follow a modern-day Sherlock Holmes in New York City. The similarity to the BBC's Sherlock
- which sees Conan Doyle's famous 'tec solving crimes in contemporary London - was undeniable. CBS insists that the two shows aren't linked, but Sherlock
exec Sue Vertue has made it clear that she'll be keeping an eye on the project
. We think the US network would be better off ditching the project to avoid any more controversy.
What other remakes have been mentioned?
MTV's working on a remake of The Inbetweeners
(pro: Anthony Head likes it
, con: Skins
didn't work out too well for the channel)... Rescue Me
star Denis Leary is apparently making a US version of paramedic dramedy Sirens
... Channel 5's Suburban Shootout
was linked to a remake on ABC but we haven't heard anything since... Foreign dramas we like: Borgen
have been linked to remakes, but don't seem to be moving forward.Which US remakes are you looking forward to? Which shows would you like to see move Stateside? Let us know below!