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It seems like every popular British television show is getting an American makeover - Syfy channel with Being Human, MTV with Skins, and I nearly had a heart attack when it was rumored earlier this year that Fox was developing and American version of Torchwood (luckily, Starz picked up the original version for a new season, whew!) - so, it's no surprise that Deadline says ABC has acquired the American adaptation rights to the hit BBC drama Spooks or as it’s more commonly known in the U.S., MI-5.
The series follows a group of British Security Service officers charged with protecting national security. The show has been popular in the U.K., winning multiple BAFTA awards, and has a pretty strong following in the U.S. airing on PBS, BBC America, and A&E, but my question is this: Can ABC translate MI-5 for an American audience?
The easy answer is sure. Make it about the C.I.A. and call it a day. But then why bother adapting the show in the first place when you can just develop a series about the American intelligence agency? Instead of MI-5call it C.I.A. or The Company or something.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of MI-5, it's gritty, manic, and depicts a sometimes all-too-real portrayal of torture and terrorism, in other words, everything that an American version of this show should be, but probably won't. If you think I'm being cynical, watch one of ABC's more recent attempts at the Americanization of a British television show, Life on Mars.
Still, maybe this will work. With the end of 24 there's definitely room for a show on one of the major networks that tackles the business of national security, but for now, we'll just have to wait and see.