Have any American shows been turned into a British version?

It seems to me that the opposite is often true. IIRC, All In The Family was originally a British show. So, too, for The Office. And, recently I discovered that Life on Mars was also originally done in the UK. Weakest Link was in a hit in Britian before that wacky lady did her schtick in the US, right? Coupling made an effort to cross over to the US; was Friends once a British comedy?

Given these British to US transformations, I wonder if any show has made the trip the other way.

Also, why do so many shows start out in Britian before coming to the US, anyway?

Here is a good start.

Well, it doesn’t list Coupling being made from Friends.

No, not a direct remake, but Moffat has come out and said it, IIRC.

The screwy thing is that NBC tried to replace Friends with the American remake of Coupling…which was a British remake of Friends.

Ach, mein brainen!


We sent you some real crap programs.

The same reason so many Broadway hits were originally done in London: it’s very difficult and extremely expensive to get a new TV series or a new musical produced here in the U.S. Hence, it seems safer to look for ideas that have already proven popular and successful elsewhere, and try to bring them to America.

As for why American TV shows never get re-made in Britain, well, why WOULD the British try to remake a popular American show? It’s a LOT cheaper for the BBC (or another British network) to pay the American producers for the broadcast rights to their program than to create their own version.

Wow. You ain’t kidding. I think I see about four of those that were actually good.

It is kind of ironic that we stole “Til Death Do Us Part” to make “All In The Family”, then made a spinoff from that show (“Maude”) and sent it back to inspire their “Nobody’s Perfect”. Cool. Was the outspoken middle-aged woman on that show related to the Edith character from “Til Death Do Us Part” the way Maude was to Edith?

The next Law & Order incarnation is supposed to be L&O: London.

Wasn’t The Office (uk) inspired by Office Space?

I have not heard that. Are they really that similar? Office Space is not particularly well known over here, anyway. It did not get a theatrical release in the UK.

Not on the Wikipedia list: Pimp My Ride

Don’t remind me about Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (UK) - I still have nightmares about that show…

I like how the titles of the british remakes become more literate. “Who’s the boss?” becomes “The upper hand” and so on.

Sr Siete writes:

> I like how the titles of the british remakes become more literate. “Who’s the
> boss?” becomes “The upper hand” and so on.

No, they don’t. Most of the titles don’t change. Among the titles that change, there’s no general trend in which is more literate.

I saw the British edition of Gambit when I visited London thirty years ago, and was surprised.

Gambit, you have to understand, was a daytime game show, in which couples competed against other couples for prizes. The game was basically a game of Blackjack, played with outsize cards. One twist was that you didn’t just get the cards, but had to earn them by correctly answering questions. I think you had the right, once having earned a card, of giving it to you opponents, in hopes of breaking their hand.

In any event, both American and British versions were identical so far. The thing is that, like most American game shows of the period, the show was a thin excuse for advertising, so that when a couple won, the host could call the prize by the manufacturer’s name and extol its virtues. (“You’ve just won a $1000 gift certificate from Spiegel Catalog! Spiegel’s catalogh is filled with the finest gifts…etc. Spiegel. Chicago, Illinois.”) This was in the American edition. In Britain, they used no name brands at all. (“You’ve just won a set of luggage!”) The entire raison d’etre of the show was gone.

I was also amused by this question:

Host: Not a race, it’s what an American calls a darby.

(Me, watching this in the hotel room: Darby? I don’t call anything a “darby”)
Host (after the couple gives us): It’s a Bowler Hat!

(Me: “Bowler Hat”? Oh – a Derby. I’d forgetten how that --er-- often gets pronouned as if it’s --ar–)

“Bruce’s Price Is Right”? Did they really call it that?

Bruce Forsyth, famous gameshow host. He was big enough at his peak to get his name inserted before the title of shows that he presented. Another one from that list, Play Your Cards Right (based on something called Card Sharks, apparently), was also known as Bruce Forsyth’s Play Your Cards Right.
He’s still going in his 80s, co-hosting Strictly Come Dancing (Dancing with the Stars).

Were these any successful in the UK? It would be a stretch to call that list successful in the US.

The following, at least, were regarded as successes for their timeslots in their day:

Candid Camera
Play Your Cards Right
Family Fortunes
Celebrity Squares
Blankety Blank
The Price is Right
Supermarket Sweep
What’s My Line
Wheel of Fortune

Mainly gameshows - and a reasonable sample of the successful UK gameshows over the last few decades. But we’ve always perceived gameshows as an obviously US genre.
The UK version of Queer Eye seemed overshadowed by screenings of the US original, while Saturday Live was successful but so dependent on the specific local choice of the lineup that it barely counts as a remake.

University Challenge is still running successfully after umpteen years (with an interruption), while The Apprentice is one of the BBC’s biggest hits of recent years. Indeed, I get the impression that the UK version is a bigger deal here than the US version was in its home market.

Good lord; no wonder y’all think we’re idiots!

The list seems heavily skewed toward game shows, with a few reality-type shows thrown in.

Then again, we tend to send more of our prime-time dramas and sitcoms over to the UK than vice versa, so they have more opportunity to see the originals.

Note to UK Dopers: When you get your own version of Moment of Truth, you can look upon that as the day your civilization officially ended. :wink: