British shows ruined for American TV - Blackpool / Viva Laughlin - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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British shows ruined for American TV - Blackpool / Viva Laughlin

In this, the first in a regular series of articles, Geek Dave looks at the many British television shows that have been remade for US audiences. Kicking off with Blackpool...

Every few weeks there seems to be news of another British show that is being remade for the American television market. We're getting the US version of Broadchurch later this year, Fox are re-titling it to Gracepoint and the drama moves from Dorset to California. Time will tell how that pans out but we're remaining quite positive. Chris Chibnall is on board and David Tennant will reprise his role as DI Alec Hardy. Casting news has been good so far, with Anna Gunn and Jacki Weaver both confirmed.

But for every hit there's a big old handful of misses.
And some of them are absolutely huge misses!
Those enormous misses are what this column is about.

Sticking with David Tennant, the day it was announced that he would be the 10th Doctor I watched Casanova, it had been sat on my DVR for some time and this was the prompt I needed to check it out. I loved it, and was instantly convinced Tennant would be a brilliant Doctor. I started to look for other David Tennant shows and discovered Blackpool, it had been broadcast the previous year but for one reason or another I missed it. The plot of the musical-comedy-drama (mucodra? no, sounds like an over the counter cold medicine!) revolves around the murder of a young man in a Blackpool arcade, and how it affects the people involved in the arcade and the investigation.

Oh, and the cast sang along to popular songs every once in awhile.
It shouldn't work, but somehow it did.

The show was a big hit and was even nominated for Best Drama at the BAFTAs.

Blackpool has some impressive geek credentials too, as well as David Tennant it stars The Walking Dead's Governor, David Morrisey, and Atlantis' Sarah Parrish.

Inevitably the US wanted a slice of the Blackpool pie (I couldn't think of a Blackpool Rock analogy).

In 2007 the story moved from Blackpool to the Laughlin Strip, Nevada and Viva Laughlin was born.

CBS managed to attract some serious talent. The Wolverine himself, Hugh Jackman, produced the series and appeared in the show too. Melanie Grifith would be recurring guest star and Gabriele Muccino (The Pursuit of Happyness) directed the pilot. Copying the the same hit formula as the BBC original the show seemed poised for instant success. However, despite winning the coveted post-CSI time slot the series absolutely bombed.

Something was definitely lost in translation. What was once charming and quirky became awkward and uncomfortable, as you'll see in the video clip below. The New York Times called it, "perhaps the worst television series in the history of television."

Harsh? No, probably not.

The series lasted just two episodes before being pulled off the air. Seven episodes had been filmed but to this day the remaining five have never been broadcast.

A couple of days after the show was cancelled, E! showed a clip on their show The Soup. The show's host Joel McHale described it as "the show that was loved by hundreds". He may have been overestimating...

Joel McHale is also featured in next week's column.

Your suggestions please for more British shows ruined for American TV.

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