Numerous British sitcoms have been remade for US audiences. One of the latest adaptations to be announced is one of the most loved sitcoms of recent years, Gavin and Stacey.
The show originally followed the progression of the long distance relationship between Gavin and Stacey (Mathew Horne and Joanna Page) and the meeting of their eccentric families. The adaptation has been re-titled Friends and Family for American audiences.
The American remake will be written by David Rosen, who has previously scripted MTV’s I Just Want My Pants Back and James Corden and Ruth Davies, the original writers, will serve as executive producers.
Alexis Bledel has been confirmed to play Stacey, marking her first regular role since playing Rory in Gilmore Girls. She will star opposite Parenthood’s Jason Ritter, who is taking on the role of Gavin.
It’s difficult to imagine anyone else playing the characters we’ve come to love so much and whilst I’m struggling to see Bledel in the role as prominent as Stacey, I think Ritter is a great casting choice. He’s already shown his ability to be a romantic lead, as well as his humour, on another American sitcom, The Class.
The premise of the adaptation will apparently be the same – polarising families brought together by the love of Gavin and Stacey. However, as the show is being rewritten certain plotlines will apparently be changed to better suit American culture. For example, in the pilot episode, Stacey apparently gets food poisoning on their first date rather than getting drunk.
Many UK shows remade for American audiences have previously flopped. When a remake of The Inbetweeners aired on MTV last summer it was panned by critics and was dropped after one series. Adaptations of The IT Crowd and Skins also faced a similar fate in the US.
However, not all American adaptations have flopped. The remake of The Office has run for nine seasons and is critically acclaimed, winning four Emmy awards and a Golden Globe.
It remains to be seen if Friends and Family will be as successful as The Office in America, but we can only hope it does the original series justice. I for one can’t wait to see the results when it’s made later this year.