Gender-swapped US Peep Show in works

Bafta-winning British sit-com Peep Show is to be reworked for US TV from the point of view of female characters.

The show, which centres around the plight of a “a pair of losers”, Jeremy and Mark, will now head across the Atlantic with a gender difference.

Co-creator Sam Bain confirmed to The Guardian he’s working with Portlandia and Arrested Development producer Karey Dornetto on the new FX programme.

“People sometimes ask if I look at my earlier work differently now,” he said.

“Whether my shows would have been better if they had been more diverse.

“What would Peep Show have been like with women as the two leads? It’s a great question – and it’s one I’ll shortly have the answer to, because there is a script in development for a US Peep Show with two female leads.”

Diversity

Bain, who wrote Peep Show with Jesse Armstrong, went on to describe Dornetto as a “top comedy brain” in the article about diversity in comedy.

He added: “Ultimately, the best way of building gender inclusivity into scripts is to get women to write them.

“I can’t wait to find out what sick and twisted [stuff] goes on inside the minds of a pair of female losers.”

In 2010 the show – starring Robert Webb and David Mitchell – became Channel 4’s longest-ever running comedy in terms of on air time, and went on to complete its ninth series in 2015.

The fourth series won the 2008 Bafta for best situation comedy and stateside it was nominated for an Emmy in 2010.

A US version of the show has been developed several times, without ever getting past the pilot stage.

And while The Office made the transition seamlessly, there have also been failed attempts to launch American versions of other UK comedies including Spaced and The IT Crowd. Adaptations of Men Behaving Badly and Sirens only lasted two seasons on US TV too before being cancelled.

Going the other way, Coupling failed to live up to its billing as the UK version of Friends, while Jack Dee’s Lead Balloon never quite reached the heights of its direct inspiration; Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Some hope that the new US female-driven version of Peep Show will buck the trend.

Others meanwhile would prefer it if it was left well alone, preferring to see some entirely new female characters written instead.


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