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The best and worst US adaptations of British TV shows and movies

VIDEO - Following ITV's announcement that it has sold the format of its police drama series 'Prime Suspect' to US broadcaster NBC, Brand Republic has compiled a selection of the best and worst US adaptations of British TV shows and movies.

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TV Series

The UK version of 'The Office', starring Ricky Gervais as David Brent, is a satirical mockumentary about the day-to-day lives of office employees in the Slough, Berkshire branch of a paper merchant. It ran for fourteen episodes -- two series of six, plus a two-part Christmas special.

The US version of 'The Office', broadcast by NBC, has been adapted by Greg Daniels, a veteran writer for 'Saturday Night Live', 'King of the Hill', 'Rugrats' and 'The Simpsons'.

It stars Steve Carell as Michael Gary Scott, the head of the Scranton, Pennsylvania branch of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company

After a slow start, the show is now performing well and attracted an average of 9.2m US viewers in its fifth season.

British sitcom 'Steptoe and Son', written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, featured two rag and bone men living in Oil Drum Lane, a fictional street in Shepherd's Bush, London.

Four series were broadcast on the BBC from 1962 to 1965, followed by a second run from 1970 to 1974.

'Steptoe and Son' was renamed 'Sanford and Son' for the US remake. 'Sanford and Son' was broadcast for six seasons on NBC and was a big hit among viewers.

It starred Redd Foxx as Fred G. Sanford, a 65-year-old junk dealer living at 9114 S. Central Ave in the Watts neighbourhood of Los Angeles in California, and Demond Wilson as his 30-year-old son, Lamont Sanford.

The BBC's 1970s comedy 'Fawlty Towers', starring John Cleese as Basil Fawlty, ran for only 12 episodes but left quite a legacy.

Set in the seaside town of Torquay, the show focused on the exploits and misadventures of short-fused hotelier Basil Fawlty, his wife Sybil, and their employees -- porter and waiter Manuel, maid Polly, and (in the second series) chef Terry.

Three attempted remakes of 'Fawlty Towers' were filmed for the US market. Two were produced by ABC -- 'Chateau Snavely' and 'Amanda's' -- and a third, called 'Payne', was made by CBS. All three remakes failed to appeal to US viewers.

'Life on Mars', a science fiction crime drama, was first broadcast on the BBC between January 2006 and April 2007, lasting for two series in total.

It starred John Simm as DCI Sam Tyler, a police officer in service with the Greater Manchester Police.

The US version of 'Life on Mars' ran for just one season on ABC from October 9, 2008 to April 1, 2009.

It garnered critical praise for its premise, acting, and depiction of the 1970s, but suffered from a declining viewership after its premiere.


'Fever Pitch' is a 1997 film starring Colin Firth, which is based loosely on the book of the same name by Nick Hornby.

The US remake of 'Fever Pitch', starring Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon, was released in 2005. The film was a commercial success in theatres, making over $50m worldwide.

'Get Carter', starring Michael Caine as Jack Carter, is a classic 1971 crime film set in Newcastle upon Tyne. Carter is a mobster who sets out to avenge the death of his brother.

The US remake of 'Get Carter' was released in 2000, starring Sylvester Stallone. The remake, set in Seattle, did not do well at the box office with worldwide takings of about $19m, falling short of the reported production budget of $40m.

'The Italian Job', starring Michael Caine as dapper mobster Charlie Croker, was released in 1969. Croker develops a plan to steal a gold shipment from the streets of Turin by creating a traffic jam.

The US remake of 'The Italian Job', released in 2003, starred Mark Wahlberg as Croker. It had a successful release and grossed over $170m worldwide. Critical response was generally positive.

'Alfie', starring Michael Caine, tells the story of a young man who leads a promiscuous lifestyle until several life reversals make him rethink his purposes and goals in life. It was released in 1966.

The 2004 remake of 'Alfie' is labelled as an American/British film, but it is written, directed and produced by an American, Charles Shyer, so it's made it onto our list.

Jude Law plays the role of Alfie, who resides in Manhattan, New York. The film received mixed reviews.

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