Getting On

Five Instances Where US Remakes of British Shows Weren’t Such a Bad Idea

In case you haven’t heard the news, fan favorite Doc Martin is being adapted for American television. Believe me. I can imagine your collective grumbling and indignant protests as I write this post.

I guess we’re supposed to feel hope for this venture because the project is in the hands of Marta Kauffman, one of the co-creators of Friends. We know she can write a phenomenally popular American sitcom. Unfortunately that doesn’t convince me that she can achieve the elusive feat of turning a quintessentially quirky British dramedy into something typical US viewers will embrace. (You and I are not in the aforementioned demographic, by the way.)

Every time I turn on my computer these days it seems that a pilot has been commissioned by Hollywood execs in hopes that it will translate to big ratings just because it’s been successful in the UK. If this scenario sounds familiar it may be because the Showtime series Episodes mocks this very trend.

HBO's Newest British Remake: An American Version of Comedy "Getting On"

Another American version of a British series is headed to a television near you – though this one actually looks kind of entertaining. Possibly because it’s from HBO, which has already had some success adapting a British comedy for American audiences in their Emmy-winning Veep, which is a somewhat roundabout remake of political satire The Thick of It. (Honestly, the two shows are so different it feels strange to call Veep a remake, though they share a creator. But it seems fair to say it’s at least “inspired by” the British series..)

Next up, HBO is producing an American version of Getting On, the popular BBC Four comedy series about nurses working in a geriatric extended care wing of a National Health Service hospital. The US version will be comprised of six half-hour episodes, and will be set in a down-at-the-heels extended care facility in Long Beach, California. The comedy will star Roseanne’s Laurie Metcalf alongside Alex Borstein, Niecy Nash and Mel Rodriguez.

Watch the trailer for HBO’s new comedy below.