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Worst TV remakes

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While the list of bad movie remakes would be as long as a very long arm, it's quite easy to forget about the many televisual travesties that have plagued our sorry screens in the past. Cancelled, ignored, seemingly erased, we're here to dig up hatchets you didn't even know you had.

(Images: Rex Features)

Payne (AKA Fawlty Towers)

A quintessentially English comedy that managed to be one of the few classic sitcoms to keep it short and sweet (Only Fools and Horses we're looking at you), US execs tried and failed THREE times to remake it. The longest-running of which (8 of 9 episodes were aired) starred ominously-voiced Texas Chainsaw Massacre narrator John Larroquette as the hilariously named Royal Payne, owner of a wacky hotel. Manuel became Mo, an Indian waiter and all laughs were instantly conviscated. Harrowing video proof here.


Bringing new meaning to the word unnecessary, this FOX remake of the cult sitcom Spaced was never going to receive anything other than bile from the core fanbase. Produced by Terminator killer McG, without the involvement of the original talent, it was doomed from the very start and never made it to the small screen. You can see how it would have played out here. You can shake your head in anger whenever you like.

1775 (AKA Blackadder)

Transporting the action from British to American history, this ill-advised remake saw Ryan O'Neal take the lead as an innkeeper in Colonial Philadelphia. The show featured the bizarre joy of seeing Adam West play George Washington but despite this, or possibly because of this, it never made it past the pilot episode. You can see why here. Note the worst title sequence ever.

The Crystal Maze

Okay so we're being a little bit cynical about this one as it hasn't actually been made yet but given what we already know, it's somewhat allowed. A remake of the game show which defined many a childhood presented by Amanda Holden? Tsk. The original relied so heavily on the character created by Richard O'Brien who served as host and actor that we just can't see how he can be replaced. See also: nice guy Ben Shepherd fronting the re-do of notoriously hardcore game show The Krypton Factor .

The Prisoner

The original: a cult 60s show seen as one of the finest pieces of British sci-fi ever. The remake: a soulless American miniseries seen as one of the most pointless remakes ever. Patrick McGoohan was replaced by Jim Caviezel and intrigue and suspense were replaced by hot air. The six-parter gained poor reviews and even poorer ratings for ITV1. Fanboys rejoiced.


Shane Richie is the new George Cole. Or at least that's what five thought when they cast him as the lead in the Minder remake. Lasting for ten series, the original managed to span both the 80s and the 90s yet the poorly received noughties version was axed after just one series. Richie has returned to Eastenders. Peace is restored.


The original BBC sitcom was undoubtedly influenced by American shows, mainly Friends, so a US remake seemed like a rather strange idea. After Coupling gained a large following on BBC America, NBC decided to replicate the same scripts yet make it all a tad more stilted. Trying to copy the racy humour didn't work and offended some advertisers. For many though, the general quality was deemed more offensive and it was pulled after four episodes.



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