Ok, I’m having a really hard time with both of these. Harder than my usual rant when it comes to the concept of an across the pond re-do of a successful series. Seems as though the U.S and the UK are getting ready to trade remake attempts of highly successful situation comedy series in the not-too-distant future.
Fox orders full series of U.S. Gavin & Stacey
As we reported some time back, Fox had earlier piloted a U.S. version of the British mega-hit, Gavin & Stacey. Now, according to reports, they have now ordered a full series starring Jason Ritter (Parenthood) and Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls).
Ritter will play city boy, Gavin, with Bledel starring as his small-town girlfriend, Stacey. The comedy/drama, like its UK counterpart, will follow the couple whose burgeoning romance is constantly at the mercy of their friends and family. What does give reason for hope is that, unlike the ill-fated first attempt from ABC, which was not to involve its British creators, James Corden and Ruth Jones, but instead, the writing duties would be by U.S. sitcom writers of According to Jim, the Fox version will not only involve both Corden and Jones, but Steve Coogan, who executive-produced the pilot.
UK’s Everybody Loves Raymond set in Chester
Not to be outdone, BBC1 viewers will soon be able to see a pilot for a British version of the hit U.S. comedy, Everybody Loves Raymond starring Lee Mack (Not Going Out) and Catherine Tate (Catherine Tate Show, Doctor Who). Written by Mack, The Smiths will be set in Cheshire and stick fairly close to the original which follows a successful sportswriter who lives opposite his overbearing family.
While, I’m probably unfairly not crazy about this one either, there is reason for hope here also given the cast but also, as Radio Times points out, ‘much of the comedy for Raymond came from his inability to take anything seriously and penchant for making jokes in the most inappropriate of situations, much like Mack’s alter-ego in his hit sitcom Not Going Out.
That said, the strengths of both the UK Gavin & Stacey and the U.S. version of Everybody Loves Raymond go well beyond the stars for each series. The brilliant ensemble casts played a big role in their respective successes. It’s hard to imagine how you can duplicate the genius of Rob Brydon or Peter Boyle but, I wish them both well as they seem to be starting off the right way so far at least.