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Cult comedy favourite The IT Crowd finally ended in the UK in 2013 after a four series, seven year run.
The show, set in the basement/IT department of high rise conglomerate Reynholm Industries made stars of its cast and made the phrase ‘have you tried turning it off and on again’ a national catchphrase.
Now the Americans want to reboot the series for a remake (again). Oh dear. Here are seven reasons why we calculate this plan is doomed to fail…
1. It’s been tried before. It failed.
Way back in 2007, NBC came close to producing a US remake of the series with Richard Ayoade recast as uber geek Moss, but with the rest of the cast all-American, including Community star Joel McHale as Roy.
But the show reportedly didn’t ‘spark’ and never aired, with McHale reportedly far too slick for the Chris O’Dowd role.
Abort, retry, fail?
2. The Big Bang Theory already has the geek market covered
It may have started a year after the original IT Crowd, but let’s face it, Howard, Sheldon and the gang are a smash hit. They are already doing this kind of thing far better than any remake of The IT Crowd would ever be able to do.
3. US remakes of UK sitcoms usually fail
There are exceptions: the US version of The Office ran to over 200 episodes (compared to only 14 for the original British one) and only finished last year.
But the list of failed US/UK sitcom remakes (Red Dwarf, Coupling, The Inbetweeners, Friday Night Dinner, Free Agents) is much longer than the list of successes.
4. Indirect remakes usually work better
If the success of Veep teaches us anything, it’s that similarly themed but ultimately brand new sitcoms often work better than a straight remake would.
Veep did far better than a straight remake of The Thick Of It would have done, even without its most popular character Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi).
5. The UK cast are irreplaceable
Let’s face it, no one could replace Richard Ayoade as Moss, Chris O’Dowd as Roy, Katherine Parkinson as Jen or even Matt Berry as sex-mad boss Douglas Reynholm.
But with O’Dowd now a star in the US in his own right, Ayoade set on a directing career and Parkinson getting work as a straight actress, would they even want to do a US version of the show if they were asked?
6. US audiences hate failure
Ultimately, all of the characters in The IT Crowd are lovable losers.
Jen is the head of the IT department but doesn’t even know what the internet is and can’t pronounce the word ‘computer’ correctly.
Moss still lives with his mum and is a champion of Countdown but nothing else.
Ray scares off every girlfriend he has.
With a few exceptions (notably eighties sitcom Roseanne), American audiences hate unsuccessful characters.
Even the characters on the Big Bang Theory, though geeks, all have their dream jobs, live exactly the lives they want to and have great girlfriends.
Only Matt Berry’s filthy rich womaniser Douglas would thrive in the US.
7. Finally, ‘have you tried turning it off and on again’
Would this joke even work in the US?