Pilots: The British are coming

Last season, the success of ABC's Lost spawned a rash of serial dramas. ABC's The Nine, Six Degrees, and Daybreak, NBC's Kidnapped, CW's Runaway, and Fox's Vanished are kaput, and only NBC's Heroes and CBS' Jericho stand.

This season, the networks are importing their hopes for hits from across the pond.

Four major network programs are remakes of British hits, according to Hollywood Reporter. ABC has Life on Mars, about a cop who travels back in time to the 1970s, and Football Wives, a remake of the bawdy Footballers' Wives. CBS is readying Viva Laughlin!, a Yankee version of gambling dramedy Viva Blackpool!, and the CW is prepping a version of animal show Wild at Heart--no relation to the David Lynch movie.

Scripted dramas and comedies haven't tended to rely on ports, but reality shows have long drawn inspiration from the UK--American Idol, Dancing With the Stars, and Big Brother started as British shows.

Aside from being heavy on translations, the new season of shows has attracted major talent. X-Men and Superman Returns director Bryan Singer is helming Wives, Hugh Jackman is producing and appearing in Laughlin, and David Kelly is taking the reins of Life on Mars.

Today it was announced that Judge Dredd director Danny Cannon would be piloting the Fox drama The Cure. Other film directors helming pilots include Lasse Hallstrom, Spike Lee, Brett Ratner, Guy Ritchie, Doug Liman, and Barry Sonnenfeld. Last season, Liman helmed the short-lived action drama Heist.

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They dubbed the Castle??? It makes perfect sense. I keep my copy of it in the pool room ;)
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The reason Americans need a remake of Footballer's Wives is if we watch the original we go, "What's that round thing they're kicking around?"
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I agree with what a number of people of people have said here. I cant understand what it is with American Media and 'remaking' old time favourite UK shows. I know this has been going on as far back as Steptoe and Son, (hell even the Australian film "The Castle" had to be redubbed apparently so that audiences will understand it better. Here in Australia we have the benefit of seeing both UK and American shows, and although I may not get every british joke, you get a chance to see the culture behind the show, what makes a show a show.
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i think a remake of life on mars would be set in 70s new york ala french connection with a gene hackman type playing gene hunt
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well i'm shocked there remaking footballers wives, it is a terrible story, acting. life on mars is a brilliant show but i don't think americans are a bit ignorant about other cultures and therefore wouldn't get a lot of the jokes
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I don't think the point about making shows more topical, etc for american audiences is really valid...we manage to import american originals over here just fine without having to remake them.
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Good to see people have pointed out Big Bro was Dutch - I'd hate to think the rest of world thought that programme came from England! I don't understand where the drive for remaking our shows in the US comes from... you produce such brilliant shows of your own, and we produce excellent shows of our own. We know that remakes will never live up to the original, and they don't cross the Atlantic well, hence the fact we don't bother - Lost just wouldn't be the same set in deepest darkest Wales. So why do the US networks keep making these remakes which are never as good as the original British shows!? I mean I can't watch the US Office... its a bit nausiating to be honest. America should keep to what its good at - and I'm afraid that just isn't the dry wit of British comedy that we all know and love.
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CuteLioness -



Your loyalty is commendable, but your logic is flawed. We remake brit shows for several reasons: 1. Inside references the US audience would not get (ie...Slough, London neighborhoods, football-mania) 2. Shows may be 2 or more years old by the time shown in the US - references to politicians, current events are dated and 3. Lifespans differ (ie...Life on Mars in the UK is 2 total seasons of 8 episodes each. That would not make up 1 US Season. Same with the Office. 4. You can typically see the UK version as well on BBC America, A&E, Trio, etc., so you can have your cake and eat it too!



Convinced?
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none of them sounded good to me either.
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Ouch. Little embarassing for a tv.com story.

Like those before me already said:

Big Brother is not British, but Dutch.

The UK wasn't even the first one to buy the rights after the huge Dutch success of Big Brother.
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The general concensus i definitely agree with. there is a lot of merit to keeping the shows as they are. however, the reason american networks remake are obvious. firstly an american audience will relate better to americans making the show ratings higher. it has been demonstrated consistently that american tv audiences enjoy what most us on these forums would describe as 'utter crap' ie. american idol. finally the production values in the US are astronomical when compared to the UK. i would bet my life that steve carrell gets the same amount paid per episode what both series of the original UK Office cost to make.

Also, footballs wives was the most disgusting vacuous bilge to spew forth from any tv set ever. Singer is making a terrible mistake.
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Big Brother was imported from the Netherlands to be exact. GO DUTCH
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The author of the article missed "The Office". It's not even remake but the same show with American actors. Anyway "Life on Mars" is one of my favourites and I guess it will be great success. Good luck!
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Big brother did not start as a british

program it was an imported from europe
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Man, this makes me mad. We Brits don't remake American shows in order to make them more relevant or topical or comprehensible or full of British accents. So why on earth should our shows need to be remade for America? It's unneccesary, and even arrogant to assume that one can take a show and change cast/location/script or whatever and still remain true to the original. And if the remakes are going to stay that faithful to the original, then please, what is the point? Life on Mars is a fabulous show and the idea that it is going to be "remade" just turns my stomach, it's perfect as it is. Please, American networks, credit your viewers with some depth and intelligence, and just screen the sodding originals!!!
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Why do they have to re-make the shows? They're all good to start with, especially Life On Mars. Why not show the British versions and be done with it.
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Not sure about the new shows. Although I am waiting very eagerly for lost to return, it has been a long time.
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It's not surprising that networks look abroad for ideas, it must be tempting to take an idea that has worked elsewhere and assume that it will work in the US. Some have, some haven't, but why use Wild at Heart, the original version of that is terrible to start with!
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I liked Life On Mars better than I expected. The premise is of course supercool. And I'm glad the writers didn't produce too run-off-the-mill cases or plots. Goes to show that in the 1st place you need a good story.
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Everytime I watch a british show, I find myself thinking with a british accent. Half the fun of a britshow is suddenly being unable to understand myself. Just show the damn brit version.
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The best British turned American show is the Office.
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I really like Life on Mars, I am not surprised that someone is making a US version of it. I hope it's as well done as the British version.
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i'd say none of them are really any good- its typical bbc or itv drama- i think the only itv drama that went to the states was cracker and they managed to extract all that was good about it and come up with fitz...

they should just play british versions of british dramas just like we don't try and remake lost or the wire or 24....

i agree US drama is way better than the UK's- there is also a lot of chaff coming out of the US and office and curb aside the comedy is always poor, balnd and predictable- other than the future of entertainment is evolving in US TV even US films are consistantly good as US TV Drama
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By the way, all of these shows(with the possible exception of Life On Mars) suck. Seriously, they're all awful compared to american serial dramas.



Especially "Wild at Heart". Expect it to crash and burn, since its basically a trip to the zoo.
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Too bad the network executives can't come up with original programming ideas on their own. I think the only British remake that will be a moderate success will be Footballers Wives. I have seen the British version and I hope that the US version is just as good.
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Big Brother is not British. I am not proud of it, but the format is Dutch like me. Was developed bij Endemol BV, they sold it to various countries, including Britain. Just thought I'd set it straight.
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It's interesting that it "bug" you that UK shows are being adapted into U.S. remakes. It's interesting not because it's good or bad, but because it's been happening for years.

The Office was not the first nor even one of the first shows to be adapted from the UK. In the same year as the Office premiered alone, Coupling was also brought over.

Look as far back as Bill Cosby's last show (Cosby) which was a remake of One Foot In The Grave.

Look a little further back and understand that Three's Company was a remake of Mad About The House.

Or look even further still to realize that Dear John was a remake of its UK counterpart.

I could go on: Sanford and Son (Steptoe and Son in Britain), All In The Family (Til Death Us Do Part), etc, etc.

It's happened throughout the history of U.S. television and this isn't the first time or the last.
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I love the original Life On Mars. John Simm, Philip Glenister and crew do such a great job with a weird and interesting premise that I am not sure any sort of remake will do it justice. If you can, see the original series.
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These sound like ok shows but what bug me is the the American Networks can not think of anything anymore and and they go to the UK to get them.

they frist did it with The Office and now they are doing it with these.
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Hooray for the British!
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not 100% sure about these new shows.
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