America to remake Spooks

America's ABC is now going to remake UK spy drama Spooks.

Add Spooks to the growing list of remakes….

ABC Studios has closed a deal with Shine-owned Kudos to adapt Spooks, which has received a script order from ABC.

However there is a question over whether the spies will be American or British (guessing the latter?).

Michael Seitzman (Empire State, House Rules) will write and executive produce the new version.

The UK series already airs in the US as MI-5 on A&E, BBC America and PBS.

Spooks, created by David Wolstencroft, follows the work of a group of MI5 officers based at the service’s Thames House headquarters in highly secure offices known as The Grid.

Source: Deadline Hollywood

19 Responses

  1. Presumably it won’t be called ‘Spooks’ – they never used that in the US anyway – probably because it has racial overtones there.

    It would seem strange for US TV to make a drama about MI5, and there have already been dramas about the CIA so that wouldn’t exactly be groundbreaking.

    TBH Spooks was a great show for the first few series, it felt like that was probably close to what it was like to work for MI5 – of course I have nothing to actually compare it to. However, recently it has gone too much into series-long conspiratorial story arcs where Harry Pierce saves the world yet again.

  2. @Russell

    Sorry, but disagree with your comments, I don’t watch much australian tv(at least not the stuff aired on FTA anyway), so I can’t comment on the remakes of overseas shows done here, but not everyone(like myself) watches these remakes, and so the origaniality by american networks in remaking US shows(most of the time badly I might add), continues.

  3. @Russell: Only speaking for myself but I don’t think much of most Aussie remakes either. The only two of those show you listed that I have ever watched are 60 Minutes (last millennium) and TGA which was clearly second-best.

  4. @Russell Yes, Australia remakes shows but all the ones listed there are reality shows or game shows. Spooks is a completely different type of show and it being British is what makes it great. I agree with you that American’s like watching American shows but sometimes the reason the show is so good is because it is set in a certain country. I just hope it doesn’t turn into another American ‘Cops & Robbers’ type show.

  5. Russell, game shows and reality shows (garbage TV) are not the same thing as dramas and sitcoms. They’re *designed* to be licensed & remade for different markets, it’s a big part of their business plan (Big Brother was one of the pioneers of that, numerous other reality shows have followed the same model). The Americans however are notorious for remaking real shows, dramas, sitcoms, etc. that shouldn’t need to be reworked for local consumption, that’s what we’re complaining about.

  6. @ David S, totally agree with you 🙂 The US can’t copy Spooks its far too British !!!

    Spooks has been one of my favourite series since Season One and I have had to buy the series from other countries because the ABC are always a year or more behind putting this topical show to air.
    I think ABC TV will air Spooks 8 in Sept/October, however you can purchase the series from Canada or the US …

  7. I always love when people complain about the US doing local remakes of foreign shows. This from the same people who lap it up when Aussie networks commission Australian versions of
    Big Brother So You Think You Can Dance X Factor The Mole Deal or no Deal Minute to Win it The Amazing Race 60 Minutes Australian Idol Beauty & The Geek MasterChef The Sceret Millionaire Fanily Fued Wheel of Fortune Don’t Stop Believing The Marriage Ref Top Gear and the list goes on and on and on.

    Why do Australian networks import foreign shows and localise them? Because they beleive they can get better ratings with local versions. Why do American networks do the same thing? For the exact same reason.

    The only diff is US networks have a lot more money to play with, so they can import and remake dramas. Aussie networks make 1 or 2 dramas a year, so they prefer them to be uniquely Australian (seems to work)

    Airing a British or Australian show on US network TV would not work. For no reason other than Americans prefer to watch American shows. The same way Australians prefer to watch Australian shows.

  8. I dont think this will work – if the keep the same format, it won’t stand out too much from anything that has appeared on us tv already. To me, Spooks has always been something along the lines of 24 . I think this decision is more of a knee-jerk reaction to the realisation that there is no more 24.


    (when is season 8 spooks coming to australia + 1)

  9. @Rhys: That’s pretty much my experience – the people producing the remake usually make it clear that they have little clue as to what made the original so good. However, I also quite liked their take on “Life on Mars” and I thought the US version of “The Office” was good once they started writing their own scripts.

    I kinda went off “Spooks” after the first few series but I’ll give this a look.

  10. I agree with those mystified by the US compulsion to remake (and usually ruin) successful OS shows (usually British). Why do they feel the need to do this? Why can’t they simply enjoy the originals? Are they really so confused by different accents and different cultural references that nothing can be successful there unless it’s Americanised to death? Can they simply not comprehend the idea that other nations have film and TV industries too? Is owning 90% of the market not enough?

  11. I make a point of avoiding all US remakes of original uk shows and other countries shows, simply for the fact of the arrogance of the americans thinking they can make better versions of popular shows already made, the remake of spooks is yet another one I won’t be watching.

  12. I usually cringe at the prospect of a U.S. rehash of a quality British programme. Occasionally though they manage to pull it off well – I thought their take on Life On Mars was one such success. Here’s hoping Spooks is another.

  13. ugh i don’t understand the point of these remakes
    the original is near perfect and nothing could be added that would improve it… i can only imagine what could ruin it.
    isn’t there something to be said for watching shows that aren’t set in your country?!

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