It isn’t unusual for TV producers to adapt successful UK sitcoms for an American audience and vice versa. There are dozens of hit television programs that have been reinvented for American and British viewers and while some remakes are faithful to the original format, there are some that have strayed away from the originals to adjust to the viewer’s sensibilities. So here’s taking a look at a few successful shows which are based on British originals.
Many critics liken the British version to the hit American sitcom Friends, and why not. Written by Steve Moffat and produced by Hartswood films for BBC, Coupling is all about sexual adventures and mishaps of six friends who’re in their late 20s and 30s.
Inspired by Moffat’s relationship with producer Sue Vertue, the writer went on to the extent of naming at least two characters by the same name. And this British show was then remade in 2003 for the American audiences, reportedly as a replacement for Friends, which was nearing the end of its run.
This remake of the British series depicts a dysfunctional family comprising a single father, who spends most of his days drunk or in search of misadventures, while his kids have to learn to take care of their own selves. Don’t be skeptical about the American remake if you’ve already seen the British episodes because while the first few episodes may have closely tracked the British show, the American version finds its own voice eventually, making it one of the most beautifully written comedy dramas on television with a wonderfully talented cast.
Probably one of the smartest comedies on TV, Veep is not exactly inspired by a British sitcom, but somehow the writers borrowed the premise of the British sitcom The Thick Of It and turned it around into the Vice President’s office (America) for Veep. Veep has been consistently funny and comprises some sharp satire, making it one of the most watched comedy series on TV right now. Also, the brilliant Julia Louis Dreyfus won the Emmy Award recently for her brilliant portrayal.
Queer As Folk
The original Queer as Folk was a British television series, written by Russel T Davies that chronicled the life of three gay men who reside in Manchester’s gay village. And then came the American version of it that became the first hour-long drama on TV to portray the lives of gay men and women and it quickly became the number one show on Showtime rooster.
House of Cards
An adaptation of a British 4-episode series, House of Cards found immense success on Netflix and was a gripping, brilliantly acted and beautifully crafted show, produced by David Fincher and starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright.