When America Re-makes British TV

Which of the new American remakes of British TV series will thrive – and which are doomed to failure? Tim Goodman of The San Francisco Chronicle predicts which shows will hit or miss. For example, he is skeptical about the David E. Kelley version of Life On Mars.

It has loads of potential in the retro styling alone, and you’d have to say this was fast-tracked for success. But there’s a problem. And that problem is David E. Kelley, who will be running the show. As you may have read (or guessed from watching his shows), Kelley has some real issues with tone. And “Life on Mars” runs on tone. It’s all about the attitude, the swagger, of going back in time. A couple of false moves and this will be a corn dog. Despite being yet another ABC acquisition (the network tries hard), you’d have to be awfully suspicious about Kelley’s uneven hand.”

I admit to having liked Picket Fences and Chicago Hope back in the day. But that was a loooooong time ago.

He has a big act to follow, clearly: Life On Mars won Best Drama Series at the UK’s Broadcasting Press Guild Awards.

Also: British viewers want more original programming from the UK instead of imports, a survey reveals.(BBC)

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself—he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri—he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.
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