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Dublin: 7 °C Monday 16 September, 2019

6 television shows that never needed an American remake

Basically, every remake except for The Office.

1. Skins

still_9399-2 Source: Channel 4

As cringey as Skins is if you attempt to rewatch it ten years later, there’s no doubt that it made a massive impact on fashion and culture during its heyday. It featured stars of that era like Crystal Castles and amazingly, the average age of the writers on the show was 21.

For lots of young LGBTQ people, people who struggled with eating disorders and mental illness, it was the first time that they saw people like themselves represented on TV.

And then, the rights were sold to MTV, who made an American version. The trailer below seems like it was written by someone who had never actually met a young person in their lives.

Source: Skins Fansite/YouTube

It seems extremely unlikely that anybody made it past the trailer, but according to the show’s Nielsen rating, it opened up with a viewership of 3.26 million and ended with 1.2 million viewers on its final episode. It was cancelled shortly after because it was “not connecting with the US audience”. Or any audience, for that matter.

2. The IT Crowd

itcrowdmosscomputeronfire-580x358 Source: Channel 4

Although The IT Crowd had its flaws (see here for a thread of the transphobia throughout the series), it was fairly successful with UK and Irish audiences. The same format – two awkward male nerds working in close quarters with a fairly average woman – already exists in America. It’s called The Big Bang Theory.

The pilot episode of the American version of The IT Crowd has been removed from the internet, with good reason. However, there’s a snippet of it synced up with the UK version on Youtube and while it also featured Richard Ayoade, it seemed to veer way too far into Big Bang Theory territory.

Source: Jacob Roberts/YouTube

They realised what an awful mistake they were making with this one, and cancelled the pilot.

3. The Inbetweeners

001150483-66559351-3de5-4b11-a621-0bde4318b715 Source: Channel 4

In the UK version, the four characters were all complete opposites. In the US version, you can barely tell which one is which. In the UK version, the show was deliberately unbearably cringey, but in the US version, it’s way too forced. Once again we have MTV to thank for this.

Source: Beanyman/YouTube

The trailer on Youtube has 2,500 likes and 90,000 dislikes. The people have spoken.

4. Shameless

9667728774eb00432ddf196183388c84 Source: Channel 4

The American version of Shameless is now going into its ninth season, but fans of the UK version can’t understand why.

5. Gogglebox

Gogglebox-family Source: Channel 4

Once again, a Channel 4 show has been bought and remade into a considerably less entertaining iteration. In fairness, this one is Canadian not American. But it’s still awful. For some reason, they decided to rename it ‘The People’s Couch’.

Source: Kenneth Mohabir/YouTube

6. The Vicar of Dibley


The Vicar of Dibley ran for two series in the late 90s and had some Christmas specials during the early noughties. In 2007, years after people had accepted it had come to an end, Fox announced plans for an American adaptation called The Minister of Divine.

Instead of Dawn French, it starred Kirstie Alley as a former wild child who returned to her hometown as a female minister. A pilot was made, but Fox eventually decided not to air it.

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Kelly Earley

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