A Funny Business

An interesting programme is on tomorrow, for once. On at 10:35pm on BBC ONE, Imagine…: A Funny Business is about – well, as suits such a wonderfully-researched site such as this, here is a direct cut and paste of the BBC press release:

A Funny Business
Wednesday 19 November

Hot on the heels of the success of Britain’s reality TV formats in the United States comes the current spate of British sitcoms headed stateside.

All very exciting and lucrative for the British writers and producers, but the key difference with American network TV is that in order for a series to survive it must deliver audiences to the commercials – or die.

By following the US version of Coupling from pilot to network and considering how The Office will translate, Imagine explores the current popularity of UK comedy in the US and examines the transformations that British comedies undergo during the Atlantic crossing.

Through archive footage and interviews, Imagine reveals how often US versions of classic British comedies go spectacularly wrong and asks whether American executives have learnt from past mistakes such as the US version of Porridge or the casting of Bill Cosby as One Foot in the Grave’s Victor Meldrew.

Now, it doesn’t say Red Dwarf will be featured; in fact, it probably isn’t. But it would be a good example to use, and it’s always possible it just isn’t mentioned in the press release, so it’s worth a watch. It sounds worth a watch anyway, actually.

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