A Conversation for American Television Reinventions: Comedy

Peer Review: A87847401 - American Television Reinventions: Comedy

Post 1

Bluebottle

Entry: American Television Reinventions: Comedy - A87847401
Author: Bluebottle - U43530

Part of a Flea Market Rescue Project based on:
A1067339 - The world of American Television reinventions
A1149383 - American Television Reinventions - Part 1 (Comedy and Drama)
A1158095 - American Television Reinventions - Part 2 (Gameshows)

By U226013 - Ecnal Silyab

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A87847401 - American Television Reinventions: Comedy

Post 2

SashaQ - happysad - Editor

I read this one.

It was a bit heavy going so perhaps the first comparison section could be trimmed a bit as that is comparatively long. Maybe it also needs a bit of reordering, as there are some remakes that were successful, and some that didn't get beyond pilot stage, plus some in between.


A87847401 - American Television Reinventions: Comedy

Post 3

Bluebottle

I'll be honest and confess that I've not actually seen either 'Man about the House' or 'Three's Company' and had kept that bit as the original researcher had written, but you're right, we don't need a thorough description of the pilot episodes of each, so that has been trimmed. I've also re-ordered it as suggested too, so the series become more successful as you read through. It begins with series that don't get beyond the pilot stage at the start to highly successful comedies at the end.

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A87847401 - American Television Reinventions: Comedy

Post 4

SashaQ - happysad - Editor

That's great - leads the reader through much more smoothly smiley - ok


A87847401 - American Television Reinventions: Comedy

Post 5

broelan

Two things that stood out to me -

You don't really say much about the fate or reception of Little Britain USA, was it successful?

The title of the US version of The Office was also The Office. I've never seen it referred to as ':An American Workplace'. Actually what this suggests to me is that the US version was so popular it was re-broadcast in the UK and the title addendum was necessary to differentiate it. Is this the case?


A87847401 - American Television Reinventions: Comedy

Post 6

Bluebottle

I've made a couple of changes – thanks for your comments theresmiley - ok

I believe that the US 'The Office' was broadcast in both the US and UK reasonably simultaneously from the start, but yes, was called 'An American Workplace' to differentiate it from the original.

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A87847401 - American Television Reinventions: Comedy

Post 7

broelan

I like that better smiley - ok

But it brought to my attention something I hadn't considered before: Being an American, I was reading this from a perspective of 'here are dozens of shows you can thank us Brits for'. As a Brit, you've written them from the perspective of 'here are dozens of British shows that we exported to American TV in one form or another'. It explains why I was confused about some parts, or more specifically, they didn't fit with what I was expecting the entries to be about.

Partly my confusion comes from the title "American Television Reinventions". I was expecting the focus to be more on programs we have dileberately tried to re-make, and not so much on programs that were merely modified somewhat to fit an American television schedule.

I would be tempted to say the former interests me more than the latter, but then I didn't realize The Muppet Show and Fraggle Rock were imports before reading your entry. So clearly including both has merit.


A87847401 - American Television Reinventions: Comedy

Post 8

Bluebottle

You've made a good point there. I was conscious that I didn't want the articles to come across as a bit like me saying 'British television is best, all American remakes are rubbish'. When things are remade, it is things that were popular first time round that are most likely to be remade, and often the remake fails to capture the pioneering spirit of the original, because it is not trying to be original but be a remake instead. It is very rare for a remake of anything to be better than the original, whether in music, film, or American versions of British television.

But who would want to read an entry that reads over and over 'Programme A was good on British Telly, the US version was rubbish. Programme B was a British classic, the US copy wasn't as good' etc? Rather than being a broken record, I deliberately added sections that would be outside the mould.

Besides which, just mentioning simple remakes would only tell half the story. Not everything is simply remade across the Atlantic when a tweak to a British programme will do, either by editing bits out, adding bits or changing the voices. I wanted to give a flavour of not only what is completely changed, but also what is nearly, but not quite, the same.

British television and American television don't exist in isolation from each other on opposite sides of the Atlantic. They both constantly influence each other and are holistically influenced by films, music, art etc from all around the world.

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A87847401 - American Television Reinventions: Comedy

Post 9

Bluebottle

Happy Birthday entry! As this entry has been in Peer Review a year today, what better reason can there be to celebrate?

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A87847401 - American Television Reinventions: Comedy

Post 10

Bluebottle

Tweaked to mention 'The Landmarks of Comedy' remakes, new series of 'Red Dwarf' and the new David Brent film.

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A87847401 - American Television Reinventions: Comedy

Post 11

SashaQ - happysad - Editor

Reading this, I think it also could be tightened up.

I can see broelan's point about not fully understanding what the Entry is about, and the first paragraph needs to set the scene. I think all the ingredients are there, but reordering will help. How about something like?:

"Whether we live in Britain or America, we all like a laugh. Many of the most popular television series in America have been British comedies. From Monty Python to Little Britain, audiences both sides of the Atlantic have been laughing their socks off. Yet not all jokes make it across the water successfully. The background behind a gag is sometimes important to its meaning, so an American audience may not find the joke funny as a result.

Therefore, many British television comedies have been remade in the US, keeping the broad backgrounds that led to their appeal to begin with, but removing the jokes that American audiences would not understand. Some have proven highly successful, but others failed to impress. This article compares and contrasts just a few examples."

The Dad's Army remake film was released, yes?

The Red Dwarf paragraph I had to read twice - I like how informative it is about the setup of the sitcom, but it is very dense with information and perhaps needs a little more explanation.

Do you want to say it is a spaceship? Rimmer is the cleaner of the chicken soup machine, so what does Lister do? "Captain Hollister... he sentences Lister to..." I wondered where the cat came from, but then I deduced on second reading that it was the unchecked animal.

"It has however managed to attain a large fan base, aided in America thanks to the broadcasts on PBS." This reads a bit oddly - it has attained a large fan base in Britain and America, and it is broadcast on PBS in America?

Fraiser - Frasier?

"Although the British show's creators, Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, re-wrote the script to make it easier, the first pilot followed Bommer's script" What does this mean? Grant and Naylor rewrote the script of The End to help Bommer (or is it Boomer?) but he ignored it? Ah, I see - Boomer wrote the pilot but it was unsuccessful, so another pilot was made based on the rewritten script...

What are clippies?

How did the American Office end up going from BBC2 to ITV2?

smiley - ok


A87847401 - American Television Reinventions: Comedy

Post 12

Bluebottle

I've tweaked the opening paragraph as you've suggested as well as other tweaks about 'Dad's Army', the 'Frasier' typo etc. and of course 'Red Dwarf'. I hope you think it reads better.

You've asked 'How did the American Office end up going from BBC2 to ITV2?'
Good question – I suspect it is down to what rights were kept with the BBC and what rights with series creators Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, and what the terms of licencing deals Gervais and Merchant and/or the BBC made with NBC allowing the broadcast rights of the new series.
I know that in the 1950s and 60s, the BBC's rights policy was that it kept the rights for programmes and characters etc created by BBC members of staff, but people doing freelance work kept the rights to concepts and characters they originated. So for 'Doctor Who', the Doctor and the TARDIS are owned by the BBC, but as the Daleks were created by freelance writer Terry Nation, the rights to Daleks are owned by his estate and so the BBC have to ask permission whenever they appear in 'Doctor Who'. Similarly the theme tune was written by Ron Grainer who was not a BBC employee, and the rights were later purchased by Warner/Chappel Music. Similarly with Quatermass – Nigel Kneale was not a BBC employee and so though 3 Quatermass serials appeared on the BBC (1953-7), he was free to sell the character to Hammer Films (1955-67) and later have a 4th serial on ITV (1979).
I expect that the BBC's policy regarding what rights they keep has changed since the 1960s, so my guess would be that both the BBC and Gervais and Merchant have some rights – but exactly who owns what rights, how they are affected by first the deal with NBC affected them and then later the American Office's deal with ITV I really have no idea.

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A87847401 - American Television Reinventions: Comedy

Post 13

SashaQ - happysad - Editor

smiley - ok

The Red Dwarf section is even more informative now smiley - ok I spotted typos, though - there's a pregnant car and a cat robot smiley - snork

There are repeated mentions of Kryten in the US adaptation section, so you could perhaps reword things a bit.

Thanks for rephrasing the BBC/ITV 2 section - clear without saying too much. The clippies footnote is very helpful too smiley - ok

smiley - ok


A87847401 - American Television Reinventions: Comedy

Post 14

Bluebottle

Tweaked again - and that car swore to me that it was wearing rubber tyres too…

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A87847401 - American Television Reinventions: Comedy

Post 15

SashaQ - happysad - Editor

smiley - snorksmiley - snorksmiley - ok


Congratulations - Your Entry has been Recommended for the Edited Guide!

Post 16

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Post 17

Bluebottle

smiley - applauseWell done Ecnal Silyab!

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