Whenever a TV show is a commercial success, it gets done to death. We’ve all watched the extra series that didn’t quite cut it. The sequels, spin offs and merchandise. Some work, many don’t.
And the same applies to the remakes overseas. The US has tried to replicate many shows down the years, some with success, many so bad that when we’re in the States we’d rather take the extra steps figure out how to watch UK TV in the USA. And many residents feel the same.
Seeking out the original via VPNs and connecting to the likes of UK Netflix is a must, especially if it means avoiding the US Shameless or Inbetweeners.
But what are the worst American remakes of UK TV shows
Broadchurch is a huge hit globally, so it doesn’t really feel that a remake was necessary, particularly as it has two major stars in Olivia Colman and David Tennant already in the lead roles.
However, that didn’t stop them trying. Renamed Gracepoint, the show involved Broadchurch’s original creator and even saw Tennant reprise his role. No longer was he British though, and the entire season had to endure a rather awful US accent.
Anna Gunn, of Breaking Bad fame, took on Colman’s role and overall the show was widely panned, although it’s ending did get some degree of praise.
Life On Mars
Life On Mars was a wonderfully gritty northern drama starring John Simm and Philip Glenister, two detectives separated by over 30 years. After being run down by a car, Simm finds himself in 1973, and he must get home.
It was a highly successful series, that transferred itself to London in the 80s extremely well too with the follow up, Ashes to Ashes.
Translate to the USA though, it could not.
Starring Harvey Keitel as Gene Hunt, it struggled to hit the heights of the BBC show, mainly due to the fact that it was about as subtle as a bludgeon to the head.
The UK series was fairly ambiguous in questioning as to whether Sam Tyler was in a coma, dead or indeed trapped in the 1970s.
The US series the detective was on a spaceship going to Mars and both the timelines he was living in that time were created by computers. Drama.
The IT Crowd
The IT Crowd is one of the UK’s finest sitcoms and follows two computer nerds and their boss Jen through various, hilarious scrapes.
Of course, the USA couldn’t possibly have an unattractive lead though and the role, played brilliantly by Chris O’Dowd, was handed to heartthrob Joel McHale.
Needless to say it flopped and never went past the pilot.
Richard Ayoade did star as Moss, but the connection between him and McHale wasn’t there, even if the script was almost word for word.
Cold Feet has returned in style in recent years, but during its original run a US version was attempted and promptly cut short.
It received NBC’s worst ever ratings for a Friday night show and didn’t even broadcast the majority of shows, cutting down to just four episodes.
The cast wasn’t particularly well known, which didn’t help its cause and with chemistry seemingly lacking. Not ideal for a show built on the premise of friendship and romance.
More recently the US has tried to recreate smash hit teen show The Inbetweeners, and it really didn’t connect with audiences across the pond.
Similarly to The IT Crowd, the British humour was a little lost on audiences. It was broadcast for the first time in August of 2012, and for the last in November of the same year.
Just 12 episodes were made and it failed to see a second series. Which is probably just as well.