The Professionals set for Hollywood Remake

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British television programmes have always been considered the holy grail of programming in America, with many formats being embraced and enjoyed by our state side cousins across the Atlantic. Game shows such as Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, The Weakest Link, and The Million Pound Drop Live have all seen record audience numbers when their American adaptations have aired on television networks over there, but the United States has a reputation of taking British formats or programmes and creating an adaptation that is doomed to fail from the start.

Recent successes have seen The Office being received with the open arms of critical acclaim and healthy audience figures after branching away from re-filming episodes that were part of the original British series, but one television programme that American producers have failed to recreate has been the quintessentially British sitcom, Fawlty Towers. Having gone through at least three failed attempts to remake the sitcom for an American audience, it seems there are no more future projects to bring the comedy to American screens

The latest film news from Hollywood has brought fresh reports of yet another big screen remake of a British television programme. Lionsgate, the movie studio behind the ‘torture porn’ Saw series of movies, and The Transporter trilogy has announced its plans to adapt the hit crime series, The Professionals to the big screen.

The iconic British crime series, known more for the cars featured in it than the actual crime fighting, was first screened in the UK on ITV from 1977 – 1983. It starred Gordon Jackson, Martin Shaw and Lewis Collins as high ranking officers in the ‘CI5’ branch, fighting crime in the capital. Loved by audiences in the late 70’s, it became one of a line of iconic television programmes from that era.

Hopes have been set high for the remake, considering the turbulent history of adapting British television programmes to not only American television, but also the big screen, after the critical and financial failure of The Avengers’ big screen remake in 1998. Scathing film reviews and poor box office ticket sales were just one of the effects of the constant rewrites and eventual poor plot the movie had gone through. Critics also derided the decision to include inexplicable references to British culture that had no relevance to the original series.

With a provisional release of early 2012 set for The Professionals remake, there is sure to be a lot of interest to see which actors will be playing the iconic roles of Cowley, Bodie and Doyle.

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