BBC's REV to get U.S. re-make set in Chicago


What do you get when you come to the intersection of ‘Are You Kidding Me?’ Avenue, ‘This is Getting Ridiculous’ Boulevard and ‘Are There No New Comedy Ideas in America’ Street? The news that Rev, the award-winning BBC2 comedy starring Tom Hollander and Olivia Coleman, has been targeted for an American re-make, of course. Following the news in recent months that Spy, Whites, Only Fools and Horses and Gavin & Stacey will be remade for American broadcast, comes the news that Rev will be remade with Desperate Housewives producer Bob Daily on board to write the American version.

The British series has had limited success in the States with a short run on Hulu earlier this year. The series, which follows an inner-city vicar in London and his eclectic congregation, will now be seen on public television stations across the U.S. beginning in November. After winning the best sitcom BAFTA in 2011, the BBC renewed the comedy for a third series which will broadcast in 2014 on BBC2.

The U.S. version will center on an Episcopal priest who leaves a small rural parish in Wisconsin to take over a failing inner-city church in a deprived Chicago neighborhood. Hollander, who plays Rev Adam Smallbone, and who co-created the series, will consult on the US version with fellow creator James Wood.

At this stage of the announcement, no cast has been announced, no script has been written and no network has signed on as of yet. But, as with the British version, the congregation will include a homeless man and a crack addict. Somehow, that’s not much reassurance that this stands a chance given the brilliance of the British version. Another reason to adopt a wait and see mindset again.