Weak links; IT'S OK ANNE, WE'RE USED TO U.S. TV FLOPS.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Apr 23, 2002|
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