More popular in the States, Exhibit A: 'Being Erica' - Macleans.ca
 

More popular in the States, Exhibit A: ‘Being Erica’

ABC is commissioning an American remake of the show


 

And then there are some Canadian shows that seem to be more popular in the U.S. than they are here. Being Erica is probably one of them. The show has struggled here somewhat (granted that their just-completed third season was not too strong, from what I’ve seen, so it may be to blame for some of its own struggles), but it’s done extremely well in the U.S. on the Soapnet channel, leading to today’s announcement that ABC will commission an American remake of the show. It was announced in Variety, but it’s paywall’d; I’ll link to the news when there’s a free version. Update: Here’s a for-free report from Nellie Andreeva at Deadline.com.

According to the Variety report, the new pilot will be written by Maggie Friedman, a former Dawson’s Creek writer-producer who created last season’s flop adaptation of The Witches of Eastwick. The Eastwick pedigree doesn’t fill anyone with much hope, but the idea of doing an American remake seems very sensible: it is a really strong premise, that produced some good episodes. And the style of it — combining fantasy with naturalism, and weekly stories with ongoing mysteries, all from the point of view of a strong but vulnerable woman — is the sort of thing that ABC would love to have on its schedule.

There’s already talk about who should play the all-important title role, assuming they don’t cast Karpluk (and I’d hope they at least consider letting her try out for it, especially if the original version gets canceled). But I just wanted to post the news here as a reminder that popularity deficits can go both ways. Are there any other Canadian shows that had more of an impact in the U.S. than they did here? I might actually suggest SCTV, whose mostly U.S.-centric pop-culture spoofs sometimes made it of more interest to U.S. viewers than Canadians — particularly when they got into some of the more obscure U.S. celebrities or styles of showbiz that they liked to riff on — and whose influence on U.S. comedy has been almost boundless even if you don’t count all the cast members who became stars in the States.

Of course the new version, if it gets picked up, will be a U.S. show, not a Canadian one, so it won’t solve the problem of the lack of Canadian shows on the air. And speaking of which, SyFy has just announced the cancellation of Stargate Universe, which continues the network’s re-branding away from pure science fiction (specialty channels still exist, but more and more of them will have to specialize less, and SyFy is the latest example). This means the end of a very durable franchise of Canada-U.S. co-productions.


 
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More popular in the States, Exhibit A: ‘Being Erica’

  1. Kerpluk kept me watching through the third season more than I would have otherwise. Really hope they pick her up for the remake.

  2. I guess Degrassi Junior High doesn't meet the criteria because it was popular in both countries?

    • Right.

  3. Slings and Arrows

  4. What about Sliders! Was that not a co-production between Canadian and American studios? I remember it being popular in the U.K.

  5. Erica is super duper hot. She almost made want to watch TV.

  6. "This means the end of a very durable franchise of Canada-U.S. co-productions".

    Is it not at least conceivable that the Stargate universe (note the small "u") is established/popular enough, and the production teams who have been responsible for it experienced enough, that a new series some time in the future is at least conceivable? SG-U may not have done well (bad enough to scuttle any future potential?) but those first two series ran for a combined 15 seasons (longer than, say Star Trek TNG and DS9 combined, though of course Star Trek has a much more established universe…), which ain't to shabby.

  7. Erica is trash demonstrating typical CBC production values. It will not make it in the states as it's too politcally correct.

    • The canadian version of Being Erica is already popular in the states and the uk. There is no question about that. What is questionable is whether an american version will be as good. Sometimes when shows are remade they do not end up as good as the original.

    • Being Erica has made it to America and Europe….i am from and live in Europe and i love it…..i would assume you are Canadian as it seems to be the only place to not support it…such a shame as it is a warm, excellently written, real show and its home is stamping it out. No wonder there is a reputation for producing trash….you have no idea what is good.

  8. Why is an American version even needed? I can hardly tell that its taped in Canada, besides the mentioning of the cities in Canada, the scenes with CN Tower in the back ground, and saying "going to university" instead of saying "going to college." The United States and Canada are so much alike, that I don't see a need for making an American version. Why doesn't ABC just co-produce Being Erica with CBC and both countries can benefit?

  9. Who needs an Americam remake. I want a season 4!!!!!!!!

  10. I'm a bit perplexed about people not liking Season 3. I can't get enough of it. In fact, I think Adam has been an excellent fit to play across from Erica. I'm in the US but originally from Toronto and I LOVE this show. It actually helped me deal with the passing of my parent last year with all the nuggets of wisdom. Unfortunately Americans are okay with lots of trash in their entertainment (read "movies"), but the swearing and skin is too much for the tv, hence the remake. But the show is what it is because of the outstanding acting of the roles, especially Karpluk and Dr. Tom (Reilly). I'm always blown away with how real this feels. I know there has been talk of Season 4, but with reference to it being the last season. I hope that's not the case. This is one series that has life and should be given life. I hope having an American rip-off doesn't make us lose the actual crown jewel! Thanks, CBC, for doing this show! I seriously have people check it out when they're going through tough times, and it's made a difference helping them turn things around.

  11. I live in Toronto and I like that Being Erica is set here. I love the show and I get excited and proud when I see familiar scenery or hear the characters talk in regards to places in Canada. I am just also proud of this successful 'Canadian' show. A remake of this show in the US and especially if the Can gets canceled would definitely be a big disappointment. The show being Canadian is one of the reasons why I love it so much, other than it being just a great show! I hope this doesn't change and I see no need to for a remake.