Making Misfits Fit For The US Audience
UK drama producers have been having an increasing amount of success getting their shows reversioned for the US market – recent examples including Being Human, Shameless and Torchwood.
There are two main reasons for this. The first is that growing competition is forcing US cable channels to look further afield for good ideas. The second is that US viewers are getting more familiar with UK content thanks to services like BBC-owned cable channel BBC America and on-demand service Hulu.
In the second scenario, US execs are now able to gauge the US audience’s interest in an idea before deciding whether it makes sense to invest in a script and pilot adapted for the home market. The Office, which kicked off the current remake trend, is a classic example having first aired on BBC America before being adapted successfully for NBC Network.
Hulu, which is owned by various US studios, is proving increasingly important because of high levels of streaming being enjoyed by UK shows. A recent case in point is E4’s Misfits, which has been one of the platform’s most viewed franchises.
Against this backdrop, news came through this week that Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, the team behind Gossip Girl, have bought the rights to adapted Misfits, which is made by Clerkenwell Films
for E4 (a third series of the acclaimed show starts soon). Given the fact that Schwartz and Savage are backed by Warner Bros, there’s a strong chance that Misfits will join the slate of UK dramas which have already crossed the Atlantic.