What is it about american media honchos

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What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:11 pm

That make idiotic decisions to try to make "American" versions of shows all the time.
Did the British make a "British Friends" to appeal to the UK audience?

Why should every foreign show that is funny need an "American" version instead of just airing the real version to the US audience?

I just found "The IT Crowd" last night on Netflix and it's so hilarious, I watched the first 2.5 seasons since last night.
Then I google it and find out NBC had an "American" version planned. I watched the "American version" pilot and it's lame.

Why don't they just air the real thing?
Sometimes I think the people running the shows at the major American media studios have no brains at all.
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:14 pm

as a side note, if you haven't seen "The IT Crowd" do yourself a favor and watch.
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:12 pm

They lack much learning, and have even less wisdom. And believe their audiences to be similar. Considering the sorts of shows they produce, and are watched enough and funded by advertisements enough to pay their casts and crews such immense amounts of money for their output, while making the media "honchos" and their companies even more, they're probably right.

Of course, the major networks have been declining in ratings since cable stations began to appear, and that will likely continue until they decline far enough that certain recipients of their largess will start trying to support them with our tax money.
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:27 pm

I can't really speak about television, but in the cinema world there are times when watching a British or Australian film can feel somewhat jarring. For example, 2010's critically acclaimed Australian film "Animal Kingdom" used such heavy Australian accents that I had difficulty understanding some lines. The same is true for a movie like "Bloody Sunday" as well as many other movies from the UK.

The other big thing is that certain expectations for American audiences aren't met by British films. I've seen many British gangster films and they differ significantly from American gangster movies. American films assume that all gangsters are armed at all times, while British gangster films will always establish why a person is carrying a weapon before they show it used. This probably comes from the difference in the perception of weapons in the UK and in the US.

To answer one of the Danny's questions about why American films aren't remade in other counties, the reason has to do with diversity. Because the US is so diverse, it's entertainment industry has had to create products that appeal to many different groups of people or "big tent" media as the academics call it. If it appeals to a wide audience at home, then it will be more likely to appeal to an audience abroad.
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:55 pm

TurtlePerson2 wrote:I can't really speak about television, but in the cinema world there are times when watching a British or Australian film can feel somewhat jarring. For example, 2010's critically acclaimed Australian film "Animal Kingdom" used such heavy Australian accents that I had difficulty understanding some lines. The same is true for a movie like "Bloody Sunday" as well as many other movies from the UK.

The other big thing is that certain expectations for American audiences aren't met by British films. I've seen many British gangster films and they differ significantly from American gangster movies. American films assume that all gangsters are armed at all times, while British gangster films will always establish why a person is carrying a weapon before they show it used. This probably comes from the difference in the perception of weapons in the UK and in the US.

To answer one of the Danny's questions about why American films aren't remade in other counties, the reason has to do with diversity. Because the US is so diverse, it's entertainment industry has had to create products that appeal to many different groups of people or "big tent" media as the academics call it. If it appeals to a wide audience at home, then it will be more likely to appeal to an audience abroad.

So what you're saying is, when the big studios see a successful foreign film with a concept they like, they make a lowest common denominator version for a quick cash grab?
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:21 pm

WOW,

What are you missing? 99.99 % all TV programs are rehash, repeat, recycle.

How many versions of CSI are there? How many versions of PSYCH, mentalist, Holmes, etc. etc. etc.

How many times do they make RAMBO, DIE hard, or even 007?

Once an idea has success, you can be assured it will be repeated ad nauseam until it fails so greatly to be beyond all repair.
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:18 pm

My wife and I tried out the British and American versions of Being Human for a season each. There definitely are differences. The ghost in the British version keeps making cups of tea because it is comforting while the American ghost can't touch anything. Looking at the two shows, the American version has better production values, an edgier plot and much more violence. A ghost making cup after cup of tea is kind of wacky to my American eyes, but I chalk it up to different cultures. No harm, no foul, right?

But the show is barely worth watching to begin with. I can see some executive in a boardroom arguing "Yeah, it's a neat concept but the audience is going to have trouble relating to these characters. Making tea? Insufficiently agressive? Where is the vampiric love interest? Where is the tight leather club scene? Is the werewolf bumbling enough? Shouldn't he be more pathetic?" and on and on.

[As an aside: I had a real problem with the werewolf character in the American version. He's supposedly a bumbling loner who can't get a date because he can't work up the courage to talk to cute girls. I'm completely heterosexual and even I thought he was cute. Girls would snatch him up in a hot second.]

Different cultures expect/want different things. On a borderline show, I can certainly see someone deciding that cultural hurdles push a show off the map.
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:43 pm

Speaking of the current Vampire and werewolf craze...

Repressed memories of my childhood have recently emerged...a show where a Vampire fights his nature...attempts to protect his not undead friends...occasionally fought with werewolves....

Darkshadows....1969--72 or something like that....all just be rehashed and recycled again. :D


Looked it up:

1966-1971 (I was 3 years old at the start....no wonder it seems like such a surreal memory)
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:20 pm

TurtlePerson2 wrote:The other big thing is that certain expectations for American audiences aren't met by British films. I've seen many British gangster films and they differ significantly from American gangster movies. American films assume that all gangsters are armed at all times, while British gangster films will always establish why a person is carrying a weapon before they show it used. This probably comes from the difference in the perception of weapons in the UK and in the US.

I don't watch modern movies a whole lot, but The Lady Vanishes (1938) is a movie that immediately came to mind that does not fit that general statement. When the train was stopped/hijacked, from what I recall, there was a basic (and ultimately insufficient) level of firepower on hand.

The general statement may hold true, and if so, I suspect it may be a difference in philosophy. America was based with "the people's right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed", due in no small part with our experience with our former government's military, and with that foundation, it would not be surprising to find someone armed. Just a venture, I could be mistaken.
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:33 am

danny e. wrote:Why don't they just air the real thing?


Because different cultures have different tastes and expectations. I don't know if the USA is the only country to do remakes in this fashion, but if they're willing to put a bunch of money behind it then they're confident it'll have wider appeal than the original version, plain and simple. This, like a lot of things in entertainment, doesn't always work out, but sometimes it does (The Office had a really good run).
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:55 am

absurdity wrote:
danny e. wrote:Why don't they just air the real thing?


Because different cultures have different tastes and expectations. I don't know if the USA is the only country to do remakes in this fashion, but if they're willing to put a bunch of money behind it then they're confident it'll have wider appeal than the original version, plain and simple. This, like a lot of things in entertainment, doesn't always work out, but sometimes it does (The Office had a really good run).
This.

I am sure television can probably go the other way as well. If the culture jokes are going to be lost - or cultural context in general - it could hurt the show pretty bad. Making a unique version for the broadcast country makes a lot of sense in these scenarios. Whose Line is it Anyway comes to mind. I saw a could of UK episodes, but I always thought the US cast was funnier. That could have been the chemistry of the cast, but I imagine a good part of it was cultural tastes.

I would also add that the US does have several broadcast companies who can throw a lot of money around. If there wasn't as much money available, I am sure that we would see more media directly imported without "Americanization."
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:04 am

This reeks of Top Gear UK vs Top Gear US. Of course only an idiot would say the US Top Gear was good.
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:19 am

danny e. wrote:That make idiotic decisions to try to make "American" versions of shows all the time.
Did the British make a "British Friends" to appeal to the UK audience?

Why should every foreign show that is funny need an "American" version instead of just airing the real version to the US audience?

I just found "The IT Crowd" last night on Netflix and it's so hilarious, I watched the first 2.5 seasons since last night.
Then I google it and find out NBC had an "American" version planned. I watched the "American version" pilot and it's lame.

Why don't they just air the real thing?
Sometimes I think the people running the shows at the major American media studios have no brains at all.


Remakes are always hit or miss because comedy shows in general are hit or miss. Very rarely will a show be successful because of what it's about; it's more often a mixture of acting and writing that's hard to quantify. Studios can put as much effort as they want into copying the subject and the format; but unless they have that mixture of acting and writing, the shows tend to fail.

The Office is a good example of a "copy" that worked, mostly because of Steve Carell and Rainn Wilson. The original succeeded because of Ricky Gervais. The setting isn't what made it successful in either case; but the setting is what is there to be copied.

The same will hold true for The IT Crowd... that show isn't great because of what it's about, it's great because of how well the characters are done. Very hard to copy.
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:27 am

danny e. wrote:That make idiotic decisions to try to make "American" versions of shows all the time.
Did the British make a "British Friends" to appeal to the UK audience?


Actually American shows get remade into localized foreign versions all the time. Wikipedia has a list of British shows based on American ones. The show Married with Children has been remade in 9 different countries. TV executives around the world have found that adapting ideas already shown to be popular to their local area to usually be profitable.
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:56 am

Philldoe wrote:This reeks of Top Gear UK vs Top Gear US. Of course only an idiot would say the US Top Gear was good.

I love the US one's. Primarily because they show cars that I find much more attractive. I'd much rather see good 'ole US muscle cars than imports that I won't ever see, much less afford. I also get sick of the exagerrated bias by the UK guys. Not entertaining (did you see the UK vs AUS Top Gear show? Not entertaining at all).
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:10 am

I couldn't stomach the US Top Gear. Though I have grown tired of the UK version as well. Their recipe has really started to wear thin.
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:37 am

DreadCthulhu wrote:Actually American shows get remade into localized foreign versions all the time. Wikipedia has a list of British shows based on American ones. The show Married with Children has been remade in 9 different countries.
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:57 pm

Here is a pretty interesting idea of everything 'new' just being a different version or remix of something that came before it.

http://www.everythingisaremix.info/watch-the-series/
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:18 pm

DreadCthulhu wrote:The show Married with Children has been remade in 9 different countries.

I was going to offer some choice words about what I think of our lame excuse of a media industry, but apparently as bad as the US networks are they're not the bottom of the barrel. I am suitably impressed.
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:52 pm

For me, the most interesting cultural split is Mythbusters. Both the US and the UK versions feature the same American cast and content, but the American version is narrated by an irreverent, wisecracking Australian man while the UK version is (or was, last I knew) narrated by a tea-and-toast British woman who sounds like she was pilfered directly from some random BBC documentary on, say, the lifecycle of mollusks.
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:57 pm

I know Russia has a Law & Order: Criminal Intent variation, and the UK has a Law & Order variation. So yes, we do export our TV.
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:06 pm

I.S.T. wrote:I know Russia has a Law & Order: Criminal Intent variation, and the UK has a Law & Order variation. So yes, we do export our TV.



Law & Order : Auto Insurance Fraud
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:25 pm

I am quite sure there are some shows that are so utterly successful that it is hard to imagine the localized versions being better. Can't imagine BayWatch was made into local versions. How could they compete with Pamela Anderson's boobies in slow-mo.........
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:34 pm

uni-mitation wrote:I am quite sure there are some shows that are so utterly successful that it is hard to imagine the localized versions being better. Can't imagine BayWatch was made into local versions. How could they compete with Pamela Anderson's boobies in slow-mo.........


Wouldn't be hard, cast someone with large natural boobs who's pretty.
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:45 pm

My sister LOVED Downton Abbey and when she went to buy the box set from Amazon.com, realized that there were two version of the show.

Turns out, PBS doesn't think too highly of the American public: Downton downsized... by two hours because American TV executives fear its intricate plot will baffle U.S. viewers.

It's a short article, but I believe the quotes from the PBS executive will provide for some interesting discussion...
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:55 pm

They also mildly censored Sherlock when they brought it over. At least, they did for the first episode of the second season.
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:22 am

I.S.T. wrote:They also mildly censored Sherlock when they brought it over. At least, they did for the first episode of the second season.

...this upsets me a bit. I will have to look for the original when I get home.
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:47 am

I.S.T. wrote:They also mildly censored Sherlock when they brought it over. At least, they did for the first episode of the second season.

On BBCA?
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:17 am

Episodes on Showtime satirizes the trend of bad American remakes of British shows. The most telling part is when the imported British writers of the show are looking at ratings and say something like "say what you will about Americans, there sure are a lot of them."
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Re: What is it about american media honchos

Postposted on Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:29 am

I'll just leave these here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_US ... ish_market

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Am ... ion_series

danny e. wrote:Did the British make a "British Friends" to appeal to the UK audience?


Sort of, yes, it was called Coupling.

I'm also ok with it. There's been some great shows that were originally shown in the east that were brought to the U.S. like Homeland. But then there are shows that are outstanding in the U.S. that I cant imagine that they will get exported but I am sure someone will try, like Justified, MadMen, Breaking Bad.....just to name a few.
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