These US Shows Are In Desperate Need of A UK Debut

You may think we're treated to the cream of US telly and only the dross gets left behind. But sometimes shows ripe for syndication are blanked by execs this side of the pond.

It took two years, and a cancellation, for Better Off Ted to finally get a UK airdate. Sure, the show's name is lame. But this sharp sitcom, about a company that invents morally outrageous products, should have had our channels scrapping for the rights. To celebrate its eventual acquisition here's a round-up of the top American shows you'll probably never see...

Gary Unmarried
A nostalgic throwback to sitcoms with studio audiences, a plot arch and punch lines, Gary is hard to hate. A recent, slobby divorcee with two kids, he’s a man rediscovering his inner bachelor.

Lincoln Heights
LA street cop Eddie Sutton moves his family to a dangerous part of the city where he grew up, as he dreams of making a difference. But he struggles to do this & keep his brood on side. Clichéd but compelling.

Mercy
War nurse Veronica wants to fix her marriage & enjoy life without shelling. It’s like someone stole the angst from Grey’s Owen Hunt and injected essence of Nurse Jackie. We’d like our networks to add it to their shopping list.

Big Love
Okay, technically this doesn’t count because the first series was screened in the UK. But after that, nothing, and it’s a travesty. This drama about a moderate Mormon clan who have to cover up their polygamy is transfixing.

Happy Town
Haplan is a nice place to live, hence the nickname. But it has a dark past. A mythical figure, The Magic Man, is thought to be responsible for a series of abductions. Discovering his identity drives this intriguing new drama.

Life Unexpected
Pretty blonde foster kid Lux meets her birth parents: radio DJ Cate and her high school fling, Baze. There’s lashings of adolescent & parental angst, self-doubt. Note to networks: snatch up this show before word gets out.

Community
This comedy about a bunch of losers and creeps who form a study group at a community College has American critics guffawing, so why aren’t our networks joining the party? Obscure cable channels: get those chequebooks open.

United States of Tara
Toni Collette plays a mum with multiple personality disorder. Sounds like a hellish TV movie but it’s hot offbeat stuff. A funny script & SATC’s John Corbett will draw you in, even if the concept makes you cringe.

Treme
Set in north New Orleans three months on from Hurricane Katrina, this drama has everyone gushing Stateside. Treme (pronounced Trem-ay) will get to us eventually, but the delay is super frustrating.

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And Friday Night Lights.

We got season one and season two is airing at 1.30AM on Thursdays, without any advertisement on an lesser known channel, so I'm pretty certain we won't see the next three seasons afterwards.

And people wonder why we Brits 'acquire' shows.
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Agreed the only good shows are Treme and Community
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Community and Treme, hells yeah, the rest not so much. Having seen Community on a 'trip to the US' I feel sure it will be on Sky One or Channel 4 very soon. It's too good for no one to have bought it. There are a few shows that need to go the other way, instead of doing remakes just see the originals, Outnumbered for one, Peep Show, The IT Crowd, Miranda, How Not To Live Your Life. I can't believe that Being Human is being remade, and stretched out to 13 episodes, sometimes less is more.
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I love Life Unexpected and would love for it to be screened in the UK and get more of a fan base.
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Trust me, you're not missing out on "Gary Unmarried" or "Life Unexpected." The fact you Brits haven't seen "Community" yet, however is a travesty.
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