There is nothing new under the sun.
It’s an old adage, but it’s never been more relevant than in the entertainment world, where stories and plots are recycled ad infinitum.
And if you look at the new shows launching this year, you’ll find that some of the most highly anticipated ones — “Being Human,” “Shameless” and “Skins” — originated across the pond.
But this, too, is nothing new. We’ve been cribbing from the U.K. for years, everything from sitcoms to game shows to reality series.
amNew-York looks at some famous U.S. shows based on British series.
‘All in the Family’
The groundbreaking sitcom was remade from a BBC1 show, “Till Death Us Do Part,” which debuted in 1965 and ran intermittently through 1975. In place of the irascible bigot Archie Bunker was Alf Garnett — quite similar, but with an EastEnd London accent. It remains to be determined if Alf and his wife Else had their U.S. counterparts’ singing prowess.
‘Sanford and Son’
The Red Foxx classic was adapted from the British series “Steptoe and Son,” which ran from 1962-65 and 1970-72. Both feature a junk-dealing father-and-son duo (though they were white in the Brit version) who are at odds with each other.
In the British series “Man About the House,” chef Robin Tripp moves in with a pair of women and pretends to be gay to fool their landlord, George Roper, who might take issue with men and women cohabitating. In “Three’s Company,” chef Jack Tripper moves in with two women and pretends to be gay to fool their landlord, Stanley Roper, who might take issue with men and women cohabitating. Other than that, the shows are quite similiar.
Pretty much everyone knows about this one. “Office” creator and star Ricky Gervais’ popular series — long available on DVD in the States — was remade with Steve Carell. There are also French, German, Chilean, Israeli and Quebecer versions. Gervais is reportedly working on one in China.
Werewolves, vampires and ghosts, oh my! “Being Human” works — and yes, it actually does work — on the premise of these three traditional monsters living together and trying to be human. It’s witty, a bit creepy and engrossing.
Syfy, which has been turning out quite a few provocative original series these past years, might have a new hit on its hands if “Being Human” can draw in the “Buffy,” “Twilight” and “Supernatural” crowd.
“Being Human” premieres on Syfy on Jan. 17 at 9 p.m.
Reality shows based on British series
• “Antiques Roadshow”
• “American Idol”
• “Dancing with the Stars”
• “Weakest Link”
• “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”