NBC will be hoping the third time is indeed a charm, as it attempts to once again remake the British comedy The I.T. Crowd for a U.S. audience. The original The I.T. Crowd was created by comedy legend Graham Linehan and starred Chris O’ Dowd, Richard Ayoade, and Katherine Parkinson as a hapless I.T. department within a large corporation. The series fused the traditional sitcom format with some more surrealist elements, including a friendly German cannibal and a reclusive goth named Richmond living in the department’s server room.
Due to its success on British shores, an American remake was quickly put into production by NBC back in 2007. The pilot starred Joel McHale and Jessica St. Claire alongside the returning Ayoade and was widely panned by all who saw it. The network had another attempt at adapting The I.T. Crowd in 2014 but the project ultimately failed to get off the ground.
According to Variety, NBC will once again take a shot at remaking the property for U.S. audiences. Creator of the original British series, Graham Linehan, will be writing and will also act as executive producer alongside Patrick Daly and Jon Rolph. Universal Television will be producing. There is currently no word on who will play the central trio of characters or if any significant format changes will be made compared to the original series.
After two failed attempts at a re-make, excitement for the U.S. version of The I.T. Crowd has likely faded by now. Furthermore, any fans of the original series that have seen the 2007 pilot of the NBC remake are unlikely to hold out much hope that the adaptation will be very good. Of course, Graham Linehan’s involvement is highly reassuring but it’s worth remembering that he also had a hand in NBC’s first attempt. Hopefully, lessons have been learned since that unmitigated disaster.
U.S. remakes of British television shows are often a hit or miss affair. For every franchise that transitions seamlessly across the Atlantic such as The Office and Shameless, there are some that completely fail to cater for the differences in culture and sense of humor such as The Inbetweeners. Certainly, The I.T. Crowd does have the required ingredients to succeed Stateside – the “turn it off and on again” gag works just as well on either side of the ocean – but there were undoubtedly many elements of the original series that felt inherently British. Much like The Office did previously, the new version of The I.T. Crowd will need to make more allowances for its new audience.
More news on The I.T. Crowd when it arrives.
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