British TV in the New World

by Nick
Apr 6, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. ET

Ever since Ricky Gervais brought over his Office schtick to the U.S., American remakes of well-known European and Aussie shows have been popping up left and right. Do they transfer over well, or are some lost in translation?

The Office UK -- First Christmas special

Just couldn't catch on

Kath & Kim

The short-lived NBC series starring Molly Shannon and Selma Blair took its cue from the quirky Australian show that lasted four times as long.


The controversial MTV update of the British original instantly garnered flack for its depiction of sex and the party life amongst U.S. teens. It lasted one whole season.

Free Agents

With poor ratings for the original British series, NBC took a chance on this American update. Even with stellar stars like Hank Azaria and Kathryn Hahn headlining, it only lasted four episodes.

Are you partial to the original? Here's a real mom's guide to some classy British shows >>

Reality overload

Britains' Got Talent

Fox premiered Hell's Kitchen in 2005 and it's developed a cult following. Celebrity chef, and all around sassy pants, Gordon Ramsay starred in the first season of the original English version and brought his badass self across the pond to break down aspiring American chefs.

Magicians, dancers, baton twirlers, swordsmen and midget acts... That's just some of the contestants on NBC's adaptation of the Got Talent series from the U.K. America's Got Talent kinda-sorta revived judge David Hasselhoff's career, even after his whole drunk cheeseburger schlock-fest. Quality entertainment from the good ol' U.S. of A.

If it wasn't for Mr. V-Neck himself, Simon Cowell, we wouldn't have American Idol. Check out our photo galleries here >>

Plenty of America's reality programming comes from ideas already tested in the U.K. or Australia. From the genius idea of Wife Swap to smash hits likeX-Factor and Dancing with the Stars, we in America are getting a another look at something tried and true from across the globe.

Tell us

From Prime Suspect to Queer as Folk, American television remakes are hit and miss. What are some of your favorites and not so-favorites? Share in the comments below!

More on remakes

Is Hollywood creativity really dead?
Willow Smith to star in Annie remake
Julia Roberts has a thing to say about remakes

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