Days Like These: The British Remake Of That ‘70s Show Explained

That 70s Show Days Like These

Popular British TV shows are often used for American adaptations, but the situation was actually reversed for That '70s Show, which became Days Like These. The period sitcom, which debuted in 1998, spawned a short-lived remake.

A year after That '70s Show premiered, its production company, The Carsey-Werner Company, set out to develop the same series for U.K. viewers. Rather than inquire about a syndication deal or sell the rights to a British company to take over, they directly hired a creative team and a group of British actors. This was a very unusual tactic when adapting the well-received series in other countries. The method would quickly prove unsuccessful.

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Related: That 70's Show Aired Out of Order, Here’s The Right Way to Watch

Instead of Point Place, Wisconsin, Days Like These was set in Luton, a real blue-collar town outside of London. The series, which took place in the mid-'70s, featured the same list of characters at the center of That '70s Show. It followed Eric Forman, played by Max Wrottesley, along with his family and friends. His mother was still named Kitty Forman but the character of Red Forman was changed to Ron Forman. There were a number of other character name changes including Donna Palmer (Pinciotti), Dylan Jones (Steven Hyde), Michael McGuire (Kelso), Jackie Burget (Burkhart), and Torbjorn Rasmussen (Fez).

Days Like These

Days Like These attempted to adapt the scripts of That '70s Show word-to-word except for adjusting some of the slang for British viewers. The remake also made a few changes to the music featured in the series since the music that was popular to Americans in the '70s didn't always match that of other countries. One episode centered on a visit from Prince Charles as a substitute to That '70s Show's episode featuring President Ford making a stop in Point Place. Unfortunately, Days Like These wasn't able to capture the magic of teens growing up in the suburbs in the way that made That '70s Show so popular.

Days Like These was cancelled after ten episodes, and three remained unaired. The series was then buried as if the network wanted to pretend it never existed. The remake could have had potential if it was approached with a different mindset. That '70s Show was written with stories specifically catered to American teens so it was very odd that the production company decided to use the same exact scripts for Days Like These. The remake should have taken inspiration from the original while also adapting to its own surroundings. But that wouldn't be the last time a TV show tried to emulate That '70s Show's success. A spinoff series, That '80s Show, debuted in 2002 but it was axed after its first season.

Next: Why That '70s Show Was Cancelled After Season 8

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