We all have to admit that America is ahead of the game with their marvelous movies and TV series. With more than 1,400 TV shows being scripted annually in the U.S. alone, it’s hard to keep up. And instead of competing with the world’s most beloved and highly rated shows, other countries gave up on imagination and persued re-production instead.
Bright Side gathered a collection of 20 American TV shows that have been replicated with foreign versions and some of them are hilarious!
1. Prison Break / Pobeg
Prison Break has been one of the most beloved TV shows in the U.S. So much so, that in 2010 a Russian production company called “Red Square Studio” re-produced it with great success using an incredible amount of detail. The series called Pobeg introduced new characters and storylines that relate to Russian reality.
2. Breaking Bad / Metastasis
We’ve been talking about Breaking Bad since the first episode came out and to this day it has been named No. 1 on everyone’s TV show list! Sony Television in Latin America worked together to produce the Colombian version of Breaking Bad called Metastasis where the producers were able to cram in all 62 episodes in nearly 40 episodes in less than 4 months.
3. Gossip Girl
Teenage drama and scandal from the Upper Eastside of New York made its way to Bangkok in Thailand. In this version of Gossip Girl, the beloved Serena Vanderwoodsen is now Serena Wijitranukul and she has returned to Bangkok after disappearing for a while without telling anyone. If you are a fan of Gossip Girl, it’s worth watching this 18-episode mini-series that aired in 2015.
4. Power Rangers / Super Sentai
Watching Power Rangers in the 1990s every Saturday morning was one of our favorite things to do when we were kids. But what we didn’t know was that there was a Japanese Version of Power Rangers with the name Super Sentai. In both versions of the show, the Power Rangers were teenagers fighting crime during different periods of time in entertaining costumes.
5. The Big Bang Theory / Theorists
The Theorists is the exact duplicate version of the famous Big Bang Theory in Belarus. In this version though, instead of becoming one of the funniest sitcoms on television it did not even make it to the second season. The actor who was playing Leonard walked out due to the fact that he was deceived about the legal rights of the show, thus ending the series that was duplicating the original.
6. How I Met Your Mother
In this Russian reproduction of the show How I Met Your Mother even the actors look almost identical. Both the Russian and the U.S. versions of the show are equally as good. The series was adapted to Russian culture with different jokes and slightly different storylines.
7. Ugly Betty / Ugly Maria
This is a story of a young girl who became a secretary and was mocked for her appearance where she worked. After a couple of seasons, she turned into a beauty that almost no one could believe. This series was reproduced in various countries and it is one of the most beloved re-productions out of all its versions.
8. Criminal Minds
The rather dark TV show, Criminal Minds was recently reproduced in South Korea and at first, a few fans of the show were slightly skeptical about it. But the production of the show and the actors did not disappoint. The cases they were faced with were in no way similar to the original U.S. version of the show — in fact, some of them were slightly more interesting and harder to solve.
9. The IT Crowd
This is a story of 2 computer nerds working in the IT department of a large corporation. Their manager got the job there by “accident” and has no idea about computers, which makes for a funny premise. Even though both the U.S. version and the UK version of The IT Crowd are quite similar, the UK version was more well received due to the unexpected jokes and the different style of humor.
The dating adventures and misfortune of 6 young adults made it from our TV screens straight to our hearts. The UK version of the show Coupling was adored by audiences a lot more than the U.S. version was, resulting in the American production company having to cancel it before the end of the first season. The UK version, however, won awards toward the end of the show’s run.
Enter Media Pictures bought the rights to produce the addictive legal drama Suits in Korea. The story is about a college student who dropped out and now works at a prestigious law firm in New York. The Korean version of the show aired this April.
12. Orphan Black
This story is about a single mom who witnesses a suicide and her whole life is dramatically changed unexpectedly. Recently, this show has made it all the way to Japan. The U.S. version of the show has become a hit and won multiple awards and the Japanese version is hoping to do the same. We believe their lead actress Kang Ji-Young will be as appreciated as Tatiana Maslany.
13. Glee / My Youth High 8 Degrees
When we hear the word, “musical”, the first thing that comes to our minds is Glee. The story focuses on the show-choir competition at William McKinley High School and its glee club. When the Chinese version of the show, My Youth High 8 Degrees was announced, a lot of Glee fans both in China and around the world accused it of plagiarising Glee. Therefore, the show ended shortly after it aired.
14. Baby Daddy
Baby Daddy is a relatable American sitcom about a 20-year old boy who becomes a dad after a one night stand. The show aired in June 2012 and went on for 6 years until 2017. People worldwide loved the show and the bitter sense of humor it had. The Russian version of the show aired in 2015 with a total of 20 episodes.
15. Life on Mars
The curious case of a homicide detective who traveled back in time had us glued to the screen from the beginning of the show until its end. The show lasted only one year after the UK decided to air its own version in 2008 which lasted 2 years. There were a few differences in both series but what we loved most was the occasional dark British humor.
16. House M.D. / Team Medical Dragon
Even though these shows are not identical, they share a very similar premise. With Dr. House being a literal genius and Asada Ryutaro being an accomplished surgeon, some of the shows’ similarities are difficult to surpass. The story of the Team Medical Dragon was originally a manga animated book that was turned into a TV show a few years later. We love the humor of the U.S. show and the seriousness of the Japanese hospital atmosphere.
17. Sex and the City / Simply Sapney
With the success of Sex and the City, it would be unacceptable if there weren’t a Bollywood version of the Show. Simply Sapney was produced in 2007 and it is one of the most entertaining TV shows we’ve ever seen. Even though the series is not exactly identical to the American version it has a distinctive atmosphere to it that can make any person who loved Sex and the City watch it religiously.
18. Friends / Love Is so Close
The Iranian version of the Friends TV series is one to definitely look into if you are a fan of the show. It is an exact replica of the sitcom with the same apartment, furniture, story, music, and cast. The show is called Love Is so Close and from what we can see, Ross’s “twin” brother is starring in it!
19. The Simpsons / The Samsonadzes
If you love The Simpsons like we do, then you will definitely need to check out The Samsonadzes, the Georgian version of the animated series. The show started almost 2 decades after The Simpsons first aired and only lasted a year, but from what we can tell, it’s equally entertaining with political statements and jokes made for both children and adults.
20. Modern Family / Moderna Oikogenia
Modern Family has been reproduced not only in Greece, but also in Chile, Iran, and Spain. One of our favorite afternoon TV shows is centered around 3 close families that share their stories and struggles in a hilarious way. The U.S. version of the show managed to sell the scripts to other countries where they culturally adapted it to their audience with great success.
Have you seen any of these? Do you know of any reproductions of TVshows that left you speechless? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Preview photo credit 20th Century Fox, Red Square Studio