The gold rush by American TV producers to mine past British shows for potential hits continues with the news that a US version of beloved Channel 4 sitcom Spaced has been ordered by Fox. Variety reports former Desperate Housewives and Will & Grace scribe Adam Barr is adapting the series, with Charlie's Angels director McG attached as an executive producer. Any involvement by co-creators Jessica Stevenson, Simon Pegg [both pictured above] and Edwar Wright remains uncertain.
It's no great surprise that US producers got interested in BAFTA-nominated Spaced, as it was a key stepping stone for Pegg and Wright to get their first feature mounted. Shaun of the Dead was cult hit in America, helping to amp up the budget for their next film, Hot Fuzz. Like a lot of great British sitcoms, Spaced ended after only two series, leaving the audience wanting more. But can Spaced emulate the US appeal of The Office? That also ran two series in the UK before being remade for America, growing into a bit, fat hit.
Fox is hoping Spaced can replicate that success. However, you've got to wonder how well the show's quirkier elements will survive the Atlantic crossing. Quirky British humour doesn't always travel well, as anyone who's had the misfortune to watch the US pilot of Red Dwarf can testify [shudder]. Let's hope American Spaced retains the things that made it great, and avoid become a vanilla version of itself.