Fast Company

File Under: Bad Idea

Can a TV program jump the shark before it even debuts? This is one British staple that probably didn't need to be Americanized.

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6 Comments

  • Heath Row

    Frustrated, if you send me your _real email address_, we can look into your list subscription. You can use the online contact form. Thanks for reading FC Now!

  • Frustrated Reader

    Here's a bad idea... it's impossible to un-subscribe to the weblog e-mails. I have tried 5 times, I even get the e-mail confirmation... and then I get another e-mail.

  • LP

    Ricky Gervais did work on the US version of The Office, but did want it to reflect the worst elements of US corporate culture and US in-jokes rather than Brit ones.

    So it's a new series with new characters: the only thing that's supposed to be the same is the relentless, grinding desperation and utter pointlessness of existence that would have hardcore French philosophers sobbing into their coffee.

    I just worry that NBC doesn't know how to be nasty... or the lawyers won't let 'em. It really has to go for the throat or it won't get the belly laughs.

  • Jeff Rager

    In the "old days", no one in the US saw the UK originals for "All in the Family" or "Sanford and Son", so they could be judged based on their own merits. They also had people like Norman Lear to make sure quality was part of the product.

    After watching Coupling on BBC America, the US Coupling was just dismal, like reading a Google translation of an Italian web page.

    Unless the new office has a fat husband and a gorgeous wife somewhere in the script, why try. We've seen Office on cable, and American television just isn't that clever (usually, exceptions are like Scrubs, the only sitcom I watch).

  • Brendon

    Leave it alone you nasty American TV Exec!

    The Office is a brilliant look at office life and I can't imagine changing anything. It's the sort of humor that's in the nuances....and that's tricky to deal with.

    Maybe they could have The Fonz on as a guest, much like when Forrest Gump met the Presidents???!

  • Jan Simmonds

    NBC proved they weren't able to translate the BBC's "Coupling" for American audiences last year. Sadly, I would expect them to do the same with "The Office". Let's hope NBC learned something from that failure.

    One difference I have read about is that NBC's "The Office" will have all fresh scripts after the pilot, while NBC's "Coupling" was word for word identical to the BBC version just with American actors.