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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