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 TV remakes?
Lang Thompson
Posted: Jan 29 2012, 07:50 PM


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There have been several TV shows that were rebooted/restarted but I've been wondering about situations where a particular episode was remade. In some sense this might be pointless since an episode of CSI is more or less the same as Dragnet but still I can't think of many examples. The first episode of the American The Office is basically identical to the British one. I believe there may have been an episode of the new Battlestar Galactica based on an episode of the original but even in that case I think it was just the basic premise. Any ideas?
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Marty McKee
Posted: Jan 30 2012, 12:22 AM


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Warner Brothers used to do this all the time with its 1950s TV series. CHEYENNE scripts ended up reused on LAWMAN. MAVERICK scripts ended up on THE ALASKANS. 77 SUNSET STRIPs were recycled on BOURBON STREET BEAT. If you ever see a teleplay credit for "W. Hermanos," that's one of those reused scripts.

THE ROCKFORD FILES' "Sleight of Hand" and SIMON & SIMON's "Thin Air"--both Universal shows--are the same, but both adapted Howard Browne's novel THIN AIR.

I once saw a SWITCH (another Universal show) that recycled ROCKFORD's "This Case Is Closed," but I don't recall the episode title. I would bet Universal did this a lot.

I would also bet Jack Webb's shows reused scripts, but I can't think of any examples.


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Jennifer Young
Posted: Jan 30 2012, 12:27 AM


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It's been awhile but I recall the whole first season of the American QUEER AS FOLK were direct episode remakes.

The pilot of THE KILLING was a very close remake of the Danish FORBRYDELSEN.

The US pilot of Max Headroom was a remake of the British pilot.

I don't know if any of THE PRISONER episodes were true remakes because I couldn't make it past the first one which wasn't a direct remake but had many similarities.

I'm pretty sure there were TWILIGHT ZONE remakes in the later series and of course in the movie.

There was a re-telling of at least one STAR TREK episode on STNG: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Naked_Now

Apparently there was a CHARLIE'S ANGELS episode remake: http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com/62807991.html
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Ian McDowell
Posted: Jan 30 2012, 01:18 AM


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Howard Browne's THIN AIR was adapted on the show JIGSAW as well as ROCKFORD and SIMON AND SIMON. Interestingly, as this A.V . Club article points out, the ROCKFORD adaptation is darker and more tragic than either of the other two or the source material.
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Julian Knott
Posted: Jan 30 2012, 09:12 AM


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Several episodes of the US series FITZ were closely modeled on the British series that spawned it, CRACKER.
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Vincent Pereira
Posted: Jan 30 2012, 12:21 PM


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QUOTE (Jennifer Young @ Jan 30 2012, 12:27 AM)
It's been awhile but I recall the whole first season of the American QUEER AS FOLK were direct episode remakes.


I'm pretty sure only the first episode was a direct remake, after that the U.S. version diverged (for example, a character who dies very early on the the British series survives in the U.S. version).

I tried to watch the first episode of the MTV remake of SKINS on Netflix, and what I saw seemed like a direct remake of the first episode of the British version, but it was so obnoxious that I couldn't make it more than about 10-minutes in so I'm not sure if it changes up later on.

Vincent

This post has been edited by Vincent Pereira on Jan 30 2012, 12:23 PM
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Jim Donahue
Posted: Jan 30 2012, 12:49 PM


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THE NEW ODD COUPLE reshot old THE ODD COUPLE scripts with a mostly African-American cast. (If memory serves, this was during a writer's strike.)

Some DRAGNETs were made for radio, then B&W version, then color version. The Christmas ep, "The Big Little Jesus" comes to mind. Pretty much the exact same script. (For that matter, some color BEWITCHEDs were remakes of early B&W episodes.)

Weren't some of the U.K. version of LAW & ORDER remakes of the U.S. version, at least during its first season?

Also--and yes, I realize we're getting really obscure here--I noticed when I was a kid that an episode of ALICE took the entire plot of an episode of DIANA, the short-lived sitcom with Diana Rigg. Whether it was reuse of a script or plagiarism, I'm not sure. Why that's stuck in my head all these years is a total mystery to me. [Note: I think I found the two episodes in question on IMDb, and they're credited to different writers. So, plagiarism or "TV minds think alike." Both were built around the gimmick of the title characters getting what sounds like a threat on their answering machines, but it turns out in both cases it's from their bosses and the message was cut off or garbled. Like, "Alice/Diana, I'm going to kill you" was supposed to be "Alice/Diana, I'm going to kill if you if you don't get to work on time this morning."]

This post has been edited by Jim Donahue on Jan 31 2012, 08:22 AM
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Marty McKee
Posted: Jan 30 2012, 01:44 PM


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ABC brought back MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE and POLICE STORY during the 1988 season. The strike ended early in production, but the new M:I episodes "The Killer," "The Legacy," and "The Condemned" (with Greg Morris) were made using scripts from the original series. Since the new series was directly connected to the old, one must wonder why Jim Phelps (Peter Graves) never said, "Hey, this plot sure is familiar."

Some if not all of the new POLICE STORYs were also remakes of all scripts. For instance, "The Broken Badge" became "Gladiator School."


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Neil Sarver
Posted: Jan 31 2012, 08:12 AM


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"Three's Company" remade episodes of "Man About the House" without significant change, too. There was a brief time when "Man About the House" ran in the morning in my market and "Three's Company" ran in the early evening. It was interesting.

Adding to that, I've always assumed that the episode where Jack can't find a name for his bistro and after 23 minutes of jabbering, they realize that they should call it Jack's Bistro must be a take from "Man About the House" follow-up "Robin's Nest", as spending an episode grasping for a name and then coming up with "Robin's Nest" would seem a much more satisfying conclusion than "Jack's Bistro".


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