The Swedish-Danish drama The Bridge was such a hit, the folks over at Sky Atlantic adapted the police procedural for their viewership, renaming the show, The Tunnel. The third and final season — starring Stephen Dillane and Clémence Poésy as equally troubled British and French detectives — is premiering this week, over at PBS on Sunday (July 1).
If you’d like to compare the two, check out the trailers for the original and the remake, respectively:
But it’s not just the British who love to remake fabulous foreign language shows, in English and subtitle-free, for their own audience. U.S. networks are just as into it.
Here are six TV series from around the globe, just so good they were remade in America:
1. Homeland (Israel)
Showtime’s critically-acclaimed series Homeland, now in its seventh season, is based on the Israeli series, Prisoners of War. The original (2009-2012) revolves around three Israeli soldiers (Yoram Toledo, Ishai Golan, Assi Cohen) who are released after 17 years in captivity. As they work to settle back into the lives they once knew, the military assigned psychiatrist picks up on discrepancies in the soldiers’ stories, resulting in an investigation. The first season of the U.S. version kicked off with a similar storyline, but revolved around only one POW (Damian Lewis), who returned home a hero. In this version, it’s CIA Operative Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) who picks up on unsettling behavior.
2. The Killing (Denmark)
The Danish police procedural, Forbrydelsen, is set in the country’s capital of Copenhagen. Each season follows a murder case, with each episode covering 24 hours in the investigation. Three seasons ran from 2007-2012, starring Sofie Gråbøl, Morten Suurballe and Lars Mikkelsen. In 2011, AMC adapted the series for U.S. audiences, setting it in Seattle, Washington. The first season follows the investigation into a teenage girl’s murder when she’s found in the trunk of a submerged car. The Killing — Forbrydelsen translated to English — ran for four seasons (2011-2014), starring Mireille Enos, Joel Kinsman and Billy Campbell.
3. The Returned (France)
In 2015, French horror series Les Revenants was remade in the U.S. and called The Returned. Both series have the same premise: The recently deceased rise from the grave, returning to the loved ones they left behind. They look and feel the same as they did before passing away. They don’t even know they’ve died. Take the young woman, Camille, who was killed in a bus accident four years earlier, but thinks she’s returning to her family’s house the day of the crash. But surely these happy reunions can only last for so long? Camille, who’s played Yara Pilartz in the French version, is portrayed by India Ennenga (Treme) in the American adaptation.
4. Jane the Virgin (Venezuela)
The CW’s Jane the Virgin (2014-Present) is loosely based on Venezuela’s Juana la Virge. The stories start out the same, with a young woman vowing to hold onto her virginity, presumably until marriage. Her plans are usurped when she’s accidentally inseminated during a visit to the gynecologist. In 2014, the L.A. Times described the American version as, “more akin to a fraternal twin to its Venezuelan predecessor than an identical one.” The stories veer off a bit, with Juana (Daniela Alvarado) being a teenager, 17, and Jane (Gina Rodriguez) a young adult, 23-years-old. Juana is inseminated with sperm from a complete stranger, while Jane’s baby’s father-to-be is actually her current boss and former first kiss (that’s a lot of coincidences).
5. In Treatment (Israel)
The Israeli drama, BeTipul, revolves around a psychiatrist, who works with his patients during the week and also manages to schedule a session with his own therapist. The original version (2005-2008) stars Assi Dayan as the therapist, Re’uven Dagan. In 2008, Gabriel Byrne took on the role of Dr. Paul Weston in the U.S. adaptation, In Treatment. The show aired for three seasons, co-starring Debra Winger, Blair Underwood, Mia Wasikowska, Amy Ryan and Melissa George.
6. Ugly Betty (Colombia)
Ugly Betty, starring America Ferrera in the title role, hit American TVs in 2006. It revolves around a young woman, Betty Suarez, who’s set on being a writer. Despite having braces and an idiosyncratic dress sense, she lands a job at an office at the top-notch fashion magazine, Mode. Ugly Betty is based on the Colombian series Yo soy Betty, la Fea. In the original TV show, Betty (Ana Maria Orozco) is in love with her boss, while Ferrera’s Betty is all business. And steers clear of her terrible boss Wilhelmina Slater (Vanessa Williams).
Did you know some of your U.S. favorites started life somewhere else?Read More