The list of UK-turned-American shows continues to grow as Deadline suggests that the UK comedy Spy is to be remade for American television. According to the website, ABC network is looking to transfer the story about a computer sales assistant who accidentally becomes an MI5 spy to American television.
The story is witty and quirky as the sales associate tries to balance his secret life with his personal life. Series creator Simeon Goulden is in negotiations for a pilot at ABC. The show had a successful run in the UK for six-episodes and a Christmas special, so producers feel that it could stand a chance with American audiences.
This is great news for Anglophiles, but let’s not get too excited quite yet. Instead of creating new show ideas, production companies always think that creating American versions of popular UK television will be a success. However, the truth is few of these shows ever see the light of day or become a success. The Office is one of the few who had greater success than its original, but let’s not ignore the failed IT Crowd (did not make it past pre-production), Coupling (lasted a handful of episodes), Skins (one full season on MTV) and Footballer’s Wives (still at the drawing board) remakes. The American version of The Inbetweeners is about to launch, but it’s likely that show will only make it one season (if that) as well. Few recognize that British humor is much different than American and some shows don’t have the same comedic value in American form.
Aside from a Spy remake, ABC President Paul Lee is behind Family Tools, a remake of BBC Three’s White Van Man and an Only Fools and Horses remake.