A long list of UK shows have been given an American remake in recent years – Broadchurch, The Office, Shameless, to name just a few – but we never expected Doc Martin to be among them.
ITV’s Cornwall-set comedy drama starring Martin Clunes as the eponymous cantankerous doctor seems quintessentially British. But now it’s getting a US makeover.
Those words may fill you with trepidation, but hold fire a second because the team behind the new adaptation includes none other than Marta Kauffman – the co-creator of Friends.
Kauffman who, along with David Crane, conceived the multi-award winning US sitcom, has teamed up with production studio Electus to transform grumpy Dr Martin Ellingham into his new American guise.
“We are thrilled to be adapting this hilarious smart show for America,” said Ben Silverman, chairman of Electus who are also responsible for turning Venezuelan telenovela Juana La Virgen into Jane the Virgin, one of last year’s breakout TV hits. “Doc Martin has charmed viewers worldwide with its excellent concept and unique style of comedy, and we’re proud to be working with Marta Kauffman on this exciting show.”
Kauffman – who will serve as an executive producer – added: “We are delighted to be working with Ben and his team on Doc Martin. It’s rare to connect with other producers who share the same sensibility and vision the way we do.”
In the British series, Clunes’ successful surgeon abruptly leaves his London practise and decamps to the sleepy fishing village of Portwenn – where he spent childhood holidays with his aunt – to become the local GP. There he meets primary school headmistress Louisa (Caroline Catz) who becomes his on-off love interest.
Despite its distinctly British tone, Doc Martin does bear certain resemblances to US medical drama House which starred Hugh Laurie as bad-tempered but brilliant Dr Gregory House who – like Clunes’ character – was entirely lacking in bedside manner and alienated many of those he treated.
The ITV comedy drama has enjoyed unexpected popularity across the pond, helped more recently by streaming services Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and Acorn TV. It is also screened around the world in countries including Australia, Canada, Mexico, Sweden, France, Italy and many more.