Printer Friendly

Weak links; IT'S OK ANNE, WE'RE USED TO U.S. TV FLOPS.

Byline: RYAN PARRY and CLARE GOLDWIN

ANNE Robinson, you are the weakest link... goodbye.

The waspish quiz show presenter, famous for her cutting put-downs, is facing humiliation herself in America as viewing figures there for The Weakest Link plummet.

Broadcasting giants NBC have already dropped its Monday-night slot and tried using celebrities in a bid to boost ratings, but the show's future there looks bleak.

Dozens of hit British shows have been exported to America over the years in a bid for a wider audience. Some have proved to be a huge success. After the Benny Hill show was first screened in Philadelphia in 1979, a form of Bennymania took hold in the US.

And Lynda La Plante's Prime Suspect won a massive following across the States when it was aired.

But other British television shows have survived the journey to America less well. Here, the Daily Mirror looks at our TV favourites that failed to make the grade Stateside.

JAMIE OLIVER

IN BRITAIN: The cheeky Essex chef was a TV phenomenon. Massive book sales and a pounds 2million advertising deal with Sainsbury followed.

US VERSION: All three series of BBC2's The Naked Chef were bought by the Food Network channel.

WEAKEST LINK: A flash in the pan. Jamie's accent left US viewers bemused, but new projects are now rumoured.

THE WEAKEST LINK

IN BRITAIN: We couldn't get enough of bitchy Anne Robinson's withering criticism of contestants.

US VERSION: NBC bought the rights and Robinson was flown to the States to host the show on a pounds 15million deal.

WEAKEST LINK: Ratings have slumped from a high of 17.49 million last April to around nine million.

ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS

IN BRITAIN: Champagne-swigging Patsy and Edina, played by Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley (above) caused havoc among London's media types in the brilliantly silly comedy.

US VERSION: Comedienne Roseanne Barr's plans to make a US Ab Fab never bore fruit, though gays loved the "Sweetie" catchprase.

WEAKEST LINK: The show was considered too outrageous and snorting cocaine was out of the question in America.

NIGELLA BITES

IN BRITAIN: Presenter Nigella Lawson is a domestic goddess to millions who love the combination of her natural on-screen personality and sexy sophistication.

US VERSION: Given peak Saturday night slot by a cable firm with more than 71 million subscribers.

WEAKEST LINK: US critics slated Nigella Bites and dubbed it "gastro-porn".

AINSLEY HARRIOTT

IN BRITAIN: The flamboyant 44-year-old chef won an army of fans on shows such as Can't Cook, Won't Cook.

US VERSION: Ainsley won initial praise for his NBC programme The Ainsley Harriott Show - a mix of cookery, music and chat.

WEAKEST LINK: Ratings plunged and the show was ditched after the first series. Ainsley is back in Britain.

MEN BEHAVING BADLY

IN BRITAIN: Martin Clunes and Neil Morrissey had us in stitches as a pair of loveable louts (above, left).

US VERSION: The show was almost unrecognisable to its British creators after behaviour was toned down (above).

WEAKEST LINK: It didn't translate. Lack of bad behaviour made it a run-of-the-mill comedy. Axed after 35 episodes.

WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE?

IN BRITAIN: Hosted by Chris Tarrant (`above, left), it's the most popular quiz around.

US VERSION: At the height of its popularity, broadcaster ABC earned up to pounds 420million from each ad break.

WEAKEST LINK: Reduced to one show a week; may be scrapped. Younger viewers don't like it.

FAWLTY TOWERS

IN BRITAIN: John Cleese's madcap hotel owner (above, left) had us roaring in the 70s.

US VERSION: Remade as Payne (above, right), but without the political incorrectness or humour. Fawlty was deemed too offensive for US viewers.

WEAKEST LINK: Failed to take off. Panned by critics.

BIG BROTHER

IN BRITAIN: Seen by 3.5 million people in September 2000, the reality show ran to a celebrity version and a second series.

US VERSION: CBS paid pounds 14million for it and based it in LA.

WEAKEST LINK: Big Brother US-style sank without a trace. In its first week 16 million bored viewers switched off.
COPYRIGHT 2002 MGN LTD
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 23, 2002
Words:673
Previous Article:Voice of The Mirror: Wrong pitch?
Next Article:Irish Daily Mirror Comment: It's not fair, Vic.


Related Articles
Weakest Link Now Tops 25m.
TV'S LINK 'SO CRUEL'.
Anne tells of the debt she owes the ECHO.
HOW THE ECHO RESCUED ANNE; TV's 'Queen of mean' tells of alcoholism.
mega MIRROR: Can you outwit The Weakest Link?; TURN TABLES ON SCARY ANNE.
Britney..the belly-baring fashion bomb; STYLE EXPERT LASHES OUT AT SPEARS.
YOU'RE TOO NASTY, ANNE.
Anne is weakest in the US.
Pop judge Simon is a US flop.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |