Brits in Hollywood: a Look into the American appetite for British television

British talent has long been making tracks in Hollywood, particularly in the realm of television. From scriptwriting to on-screen talent, Brits continue to succeed in selling, developing and importing British television to the US.

But it’s no surprise as to why. The American appetite for British television is sizeable. This spring and summer, American versions of I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! , Merlin, and Who Do You Think You Are? will make their debuts on US television. Moreover, with shows like Dancing With the Stars (Strictly Come Dancing) and Wife Swap featuring on US channels, it’s clear that British ideas have become a staple of American television.

The experts have noted that past success with British shows and talent has opened US broadcasters up to British ideas. An established talent agency also said that the American openness to British ideas is recognition that the world has become a smaller place. It was stated that there is much less US arrogance about what might and might not work and that audiences don’t care if it was originally a UK show – they will watch any good television.

Yet it’s not always so simple to break British talent into the US. For instance, Who Do You Think You Are? was first sold to a US channel four years ago, but it initially failed to make any progress. Eventually, it was aired after a popular US television and movie personality helped the show take off in the United States. It has been noted that the case with Who Do You Think You Are? demonstrates the difference between British and American television – in Britain, a good format can sell itself while in America, shows usually have to have somebody famous on board as well.

However, rewards are very different in US television versus in UK television. In Britain, a comedy writer can get between £5,000 and £15,000 an episode, with six episodes in a series, while in the US, a writer’s fee can be anywhere between $ 50,000 (£35,000) and $ 250,000 an episode, with 22 episodes running.

Still, success is a big ‘if’. Very few programmes get past the script stage to a pilot show, and even then, only about 10 per cent make it to air. It subsequently takes at least three successful series before a programme is considered profitable. But once a show gets past all this, it has a decent chance of becoming a hit.

Whether you’re a fan of UK television or US versions of UK programmes, you can catch all your favourite programmes via a satellite television service. Satellite TV usually offers a wide range of channels to choose from, so you can take your pick from both UK and US-adapted British shows. And if your satellite service is paired with digital television, even better – you can watch the best of British TV while enjoying a superior image on your digital TV.

Paul McIndoe writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.

Imagine the Future
digital television
Image by Viewminder
Imagine ‘becoming’ a digital camera.

Imagine that whatever you looked at… whatever you thought about… whatever you dreamed… whatever you felt…

that an image could be created from that.

A real image.

Stored and transmitted.

Imagine that your eyes are the lenses to that camera.

That your brain is the processor.

And imagine that system working in reverse as well.

Like television…

only ‘feelavision.’

Imagine a reality that’s not too far away.

We are on the edge of knowing so much.

A great paradigm shift is close.

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