From the UK to the US: TV transfers

Why we should be thankful that the new Shameless is no Krypton Factor


Shameless US (Thursdays, More4) is the latest in a long line of UK properties to be remade in America. Sometimes the result can be a success (The Office, Who Do You Think You Are?), but when it goes wrong, we get programmes like the following:


The Krypton Factor (1981)
Very short-lived version (it ran for one month) of the mental-ability and physical-agility game show hosted by Dick “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” Clark. The contestants were obviously employing a Six-Million-Dollar-Man approach to running.

Blackadder becomes 1775 (1992)
Sitcom set in colonial Philadelphia starring Ryan O’Neal as innkeeper Jeremy Proctor. High comedy in the opening titles at 0:50 when man enters room and then leaves it again. Former Batman Adam West played George Washington.

Red Dwarf (1992)
A misjudged pilot that featured Robert Llewellyn reprising Kryten and future Frasier star Jane Leeves playing Holly. Studio executives at Universal were unhappy but reshoots were bodged, leading to a heavily bootlegged (but never actually broadcast) opening episode.

One Foot in the Grave becomes Cosby (1996)
It’s incredible that this lasted a full four seasons, especially when you consider the quality of these opening titles, which feature a gurning Bill Cosby appearing to lose control of both limbs and facial muscles over 41 seconds.

Life on Mars (2008)
When original creator Matthew Graham was asked for his opinion of the US remake, his reply was: “Have you seen it? It beggars belief, doesn’t it?” Check out the show’s ending below, where Gene Hunt is revealed to be Sam’s father – an astronaut called “Major Tom” Tyler.