Let’s see. Where do I begin with the laundry list of failed American attempts to remake British telly. Oh yes, that would be Life on Mars, Prime Suspect, Coupling… and while CBS’ Elementary is far from a failed attempt, it’s definitely not Sherlock. American versions of Vicar of Dibley, Spooks, Gavin & Stacey and The Thick of It have been rumored but, thankfully, yet to be seen.
Now comes word that the newest target is the BBC’s romantic drama, Last Tango in Halifax, which has just completed its first series run on PBS in the States. The critically-acclaimed drama centers around two widowed and retired septuagenarians (Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid) who were briefly childhood sweethearts that rekindle their romance via Facebook. A second series has been filmed and is set to transmit later this month on BBC One with a 2014 broadcast on PBS. In addition, a third series has already been commissioned.
Diane Keaton (The Godfather, Annie Hall, Something’s Gotta Give) has acquired the rights to the series for a US version that will air on HBO…someday. I say ‘someday’ as it is now being reported that the Keaton HBO-remake is “…on hold due to the original UK version of the drama transmitting on PBS”. At this point, it remains a question as to whether or not Keaton plans to appear in the HBO remake.
Sally Wainwright (Scott & Bailey), the show’s creator/writer and executive producer has said that she would have an associate producer role on the US version, but did not expect to be closely involved.