Many successful British TV shows (particularly sitcoms and reality shows) have been remade for the American market. The success of American Idol is based on UK TV's "Pop Idol" but the roots go back even further to the early UK TV shows such as "Stars in their Eyes" and "The Big Time". The winner of "The Big Time" was none other than Sheena Easton who fought through to gain a record contract, with EMI. After that it is history. She became the only UK female artist to have two singles ("9 to 5" – known as "Morning Train" in the US – and "Modern Girl") in the UK top 10 at the same time since 1959.
The amount of reworking of British TV shows varies, with some shows (such as All in the Family) keeping the basic situation and then adding many original features while others have taken complete scripts verbatim (such as Amanda's).
So what program hits have been based British TV shows? The list is long!
Some like "Airline", "Antiques Road Show", "Cash in the Attic" and "Dear John" have kept there names. Other have changed.
"Birds of a Feather" became "Stand By Your Man" when it moved across the pond. "Changing Rooms" became "Trading Places", "Dads Army" became "The Rear Guard", "Man About the House" became "Three's Company". "Tell Death us Do Part" became the very watered down "All in the Family" and so it goes on.
You can see a detailed list here...
So what about shows from US TV migrating to English TV?
There are relatively few examples of American shows remade for the British market (the majority of these being game shows), as the British television audience are more accepting of the American originals than the US are of original UK version.
Some US remakes have even been imported back into the UK.
Anybody who has seen the two version of "The Office" for instance can see the difference. Some people might even say that this is because American TV has to be more "PC".
All I can say is thank goodness for BBC USA, where smash hit programs like "Top Gear" and "Doctor Who" can still be seen.
Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
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