American Remakes of British TV Series

TV series are have become a focal point of modern entertainment, and these days you will see some of the best actors playing in TV series, whereas only a decade ago that was unimaginable, and series were only seen as a stepping stone for actors who want to make a name for themselves.

Unlike films where there is only a short period for characters to develop and for the plot to reach its peak, in series, directors and screenwriters have room to experiment, build their story and develop their characters. The quote that US and UK are two countries separated by common language is usually attributed to George Bernard Shaw. You may or may not agree with that, but one thing is certain, the viewers in the US and the UK have different tastes and different expectations.

Here we have a look at a number of UK series that were remade in the states. Some were as successful as the originals, whereas others were utter failure. Either way, these shows are a vivid reminder and testament of how people, on each side of the Atlantic, have different tastes in cinema, even if they speak the same language.

The Office

Office is one of the successful stories, and even though the US and the UK version of this amazing show differ significantly, we have to say that both are actually quite good, and their popularity ratings can prove it.

Many would argue that the American version was more successful and more popular, since it went on for nine seasons, compared to the UK series which was only aired for two years. The UK version was written and directed by Stephen Merchant and Ricky Gervais and Gervais also played the lead role, whereas the US version was developed by Greg Daniels. Both series are quite fun and watchable, so we’d definitely recommend you to watch them, if you haven’t already.


These TV series were absolutely butchered by the Americans. It is hard to even draw a comparison between the realistic, vibrant, lively UK version of Skins and the American watered down, outright censored version of the show. Many in the UK called it an abomination and they were quite right.

The UK version of Skins pained a much more realistic picture of teenage life, whereas the makers of the American show wanted to make it a bit more glamourous but ended up failing miserably.


Another iconic UK series which didn’t make it west. Some say it was due to bad casting, others claim that America already had Friends at the time when the US version of Coupling was about to be launched. Either way, it was no good and it got cancelled after just few shows.

House of Cards

This example is opposed of the previous two. The American version of House of Cards proved to be a right hit with the audience, so much so, that when somebody mentions House of Cards it is more likely that they are referring to the US remake, rather than the UK original.


Although the American version wasn’t as terrible as some of the other examples featured above, the American version of Shameless clearly lacked the charm and the genuineness of the UK original. In these series you can notice how different the UK urban life is from its American counterpart. For example, you’ll see that the British pub where the main character spends most of his time features slot machines, which are banned in American. Speaking of slot machines, check out