Is a US remake of Wilfred barking up the wrong tree?

It is not the first time that the US has overhauled a classic and successful Australian or UK comedy to cater for the American audience, which apparently will reject anything that's not home-grown.

Hit Aussie comedy Wilfred is the latest series to get an American adaptation, joining the likes of Kath & Kim, The Office, Being Human and Life on Mars.

Despite the success of the original productions, US remakes are generally not well received by fans of the earlier shows, with the American version of Kath & Kim in particular, deemed a flop.

The series tells the story of an unwitting new boyfriend forced to deal with the interference of his new crush's pooch -- played by a human in a dog costume -- who is particularly dubious about the new boyfriend's suitability.

Filmed in Melbourne, the SBS program was commissioned after a short film of the same name won awards at Tropfest Australia, the world's largest short film festival.

Starring Jason Gann in the title role and Adam Zwar as the afflicted boyfriend, Wilfred ran for two successful seasons, which American broadcaster FX is hoping to emulate.

Elijah Wood (Lord of the Rings, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) has signed on to play Zwar's original role of Adam, a socially awkward introvert who imagines his next door neighbour's pet dog is a man in a dog costume.

Jason Gann is set to reprise his role as Wilfred, and has been described as "part Australian Shepherd, part Russell Crowe on a bender". Fiona Gubelmann (Californication) will play Adam's girlfriend and Wilfred's owner, Sarah.

The pair will initially film 13 episodes, with David Zuckerman as the show runner, who has extensive experience working on Family Guy and American Dad.

"We loved how well the pilot turned out, and we were blown away by the chemistry between Elijah Wood and Jason Gann," reported FX executive vice president of original programming Nick Grad as saying.

Check out some of the best bits from the original Australian series.

How do you feel about an American version of Wilfred, and US remakes in general? Does retaining original cast members make a difference?

Comments (2)
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Jun 24, 2011
I'm proud to see a remake do an original aussie production justice, i've haven't laughed this hard in a very long time. WAKE UP people and think outside the box! cut those strings that hold you back and have a good laugh, that's what it's all about and this show just throws it in your face and drags you along for the ride :) chuckle, smirk, squirm in your seat at the back to basics gags, remember we are all just animals at the end of the day, some walk on four legs, some on two. Well done, well done indeed.. I'm usually not a fan of rehashed tvshows but in this case I will certainly make an exception and buy the dvds when they become available. Yes, it is that well done! thank you, thank you very much.
Oct 27, 2010
It depends purely on the quality of the show. That's it. The fact that it's going to be on FX is encouraging.

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