Media Money with Julia Boorstin

Hollywood Strike: U.S. TV Gets Real Foreign Flavor?


The TV networks are really good at looking overseas for ideas--they remake "The Office" and endless game shows and reality TV concepts. In fact, European shows are on every time you turn on the TV, just with American accents. (Plus, plenty of companies like Ben Silverman's Reveille and Fremantle make fortunes selling U.S. shows back overseas).

But now that a series of labor strikes in Hollywood might bring production to a screeching halt, the networks are looking overseas to use episodes from existing series--accents and all. (Variety reports that NBC and ABC have had had conversations with international broadcasters.)

Just For Laughs

Do people really care about the accents? Yeah, probably. Or is it more a certain production value and aesthetic. As a fan of both the American and the UK versions of the office I think they certainly feel different. But I suppose as British TV becomes more Americanized, the nets will be looking for the most similar stuff. And then there's Canadian TV--their accents aren't so obvious. This summer it's working for ABC, which was the first network to ever put a Canadian show--"Just for Laughs"--in primetime.

Even while exploring these options it's pretty clear everyone is still keeping their fingers crossed a strike won't happen. I wonder if fears of a strike will cause the nets to pick up an international show, even if it never happens.

Questions?  Comments?