12 popular U.S. TV shows that are remakes

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You probably knew that The Office starring Steve Carell was a remake of the British show of the same name. Despite the show’s massive success—lasting nine seasons and ushering in the rise of the mockumentary sitcom format—many will claim that the original is even better. 

We aren’t taking sides here. But The Office is far from the most high-profile show that originated elsewhere. Here are a few popular American shows that are actually remakes of series from other countries that might also be worth checking out.

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Remake of: The Thick of It

Country of origin: UK

Where is Veep streaming? HBO Max

Where is The Thick of It streaming? BritBox

From the brilliant mind of Armando Ianucci, Veep stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer, the Vice President of the United States. A remake of the hit British comedy The Thick of It, Veep follows a similar setup in that it is a political satire that’s smartly and tightly written. The series follows Meyer and her never-ending quest to navigate the chaos of politics and her aspirations for greatness. Along for the ride are comedic veterans Tony Hale, Gary Cole, and Hugh Laurie.

While both shows share the same DNA—they share writers—Veep is more of an ensemble piece, allowing for characters to take the spotlight, than its UK counterpart. Both shows are considered to take place in the same universe, with a few crossover references.


Remake of: אופוריה (Euphoria)

Country or origin: Israel

Where is the U.S. version streaming? HBO Max

Where is the original streaming? Not available

Like its Israeli namesake, HBO’s Euphoria follows the exploits of a group of high school students as they navigate hot button issues like sex, drugs, and violence. Essentially it’s a teen drama, but because it’s made by A24 and HBO, it’s far more intense than other shows about teens. Fun—or not so fun—fact: The original series was partially based on a true story.  

The series stars Zendaya as Rue, a high school student who returns home following a stint in drug rehab and half-heartedly attempts to revert her life back to some sense of normalcy. This proves difficult as she is prone to making extremely poor life decisions. While this sounds depressing on paper, we assure you it’s gripping television! 

On a side note, it’s no surprise that each episode of the American remake has cost around 11 million USD to make, given how elaborate and beautiful the cinematography is.

House of Cards

Remake of: House of Cards

Country of origin: UK

Where is the U.S. version streaming? Netflix

Where is the original streaming? Amazon Prime Video

Based on the 1990 British miniseries from the BBC, the Netflix House of Cards remake is set in Washington, D.C., and follows a congressman and his wife’s ruthless plan for revenge and power after being passed over for the Secretary of State job. The huge hit was the first show entirely produced in-house by Netflix. While the original BBC series had two sequels, none of those plot points were carried over to the American adaptation. 

Sir Ian Richardson, star of the original series, based his character Francis Urquart’s characterization on Shakepeare’s Richard III—something that Kevin Spacey also did for the U.S. remake while playing Congressman Frank Underwood.


Remake of: Utopia

Country of origin: UK

Where is the U.S. version streaming? Amazon Prime Video

Where is the original streaming? Amazon Prime Video

Adapted from the vastly superior British series of the same name, Utopia follows a group of misfits who meet online, discover a cult graphic novel that’s possibly prophetic, and are led down a path toward the end of the world. While the premise is exactly the same as the original, the execution of the remake is far inferior. Watch the original instead!


Remake of: חטופים‎ / Prisoners of War 

Country of origin: Israel

Where is Homeland streaming? Hulu

Where is Prisoners of War streaming? DirecTV

Claire Danes stars as Carrie Mathison, a CIA agent with bipolar disorder who becomes convinced that former prisoner of war USMC Sergeant Nicholas Brody has been compromised by al-Qaeda. Based on the Israeli series Prisoners of War that premiered a year prior, Homeland eclipsed its progenitor and lasted for eight seasons. 

The creator of the Israeli original served as a writer on the remake for the duration of its run, but while the original focused on the nuanced experience of prisoners of war returning home, the remake is more suspenseful and instead heavily centered around Mathison as spy.

An Indian remake of the original Israeli program was developed and titled P.O.W., as was a Russian remake titled Rodina


Remake of: Shameless

Country or origin: UK

Where is the U.S. version streaming? Netflix

Where is the original streaming? Hulu

Shameless was adapted from the British series of the same name and follows the exploits of the Gallagher family, a working class family in the South Side of Chicago. The family in the British version, also the Gallaghers, lives in Manchester.

Like the original, the Shameless remake ran for 11 seasons and even became the longest-running scripted comedy on Showtime. The pilots of both the original and the remake were directed by the same person.

In 2017, Turkish and Russian adaptations were developed with the former lasting two seasons and the latter canceled just after one. 

The Good Doctor

Remake of: 굿 닥터 (Good Doctor)

Country or origin: South Korea

Where is it streaming? Hulu

Where is the original streaming? Kocowa

Adapted from the South Korean series with the same name, The Good Doctor stars Freddie Highmore as Shaun Murphy, a surgical resident with autism who takes a role at a prestigious hospital in California. The American adaptation was successful enough to last four more seasons than the South Korean original. Fun fact: The name Shaun was a transliteration of the Korean protagonist’s name Shi-On. David Shore, showrunner of the popular medical procedural House was brought on to develop the series.

In 2018, Turkish and Japanese remakes were developed with the former lasting two seasons and the latter lasting for one. 

Jane the Virgin

Remake of: Juana la virgen

Country of origin: Venezuela

Where is the U.S. version streaming? Netflix

Where is the original streaming? For free on Tubi

A romantic dramedy, Jane the Virgin is a remake of the Spanish language Venezuelan telenovela Juana la virgen. Both series follow the same premise where a young girl is accidentally artificially inseminated on a routine trip to her gynecologist. Hugely popular during its run, Jane the Virgin won various awards. While the original is a straight-up telenovela soap opera, the remake is a satire of the genre.

International remakes have been developed in Egypt, Spain, Greece, and South Korea. 

The Bridge

Remake of: Broen / Bron

Country of origin: Denmark and Sweden

Where is it streaming? Hulu, Amazon Prime Video

Where is the original streaming? Topic, Hoopla

Set in and around the Bridge of the Americas—between El Paso in the U.S. and Juarez in Mexico—The Bridge follows detectives investigating a serial killer that operates on both sides of the border. It’s a genius format, really, as it provides a template to be reproduced as a joint production between bordering countries anywhere in the world. 

As entertaining as the American version is, the original is even better and is considered a key entry of the Nordic noir, contributing to the rise and popularity of the genre internationally. 

In addition to the U.S. remake, there have been several other international joint productions between: 


Title: The Tunnel

Country of origin: UK and France

Where is this streaming? Amazon Prime Video


Title: Мост/Sild (The Bridge)

Country of origin: Estonia and Russia

Where is this streaming? Not available


Title: The Bridge

Country of origin: Malaysia and Singapore

Where is this streaming? Viu


Title: Der Pass

Country of origin: Germany and Austria

Where is this streaming? Amazon Prime Video


The Killing

Remake of: Forbrydelsen

Country or origin: Denmark

Where is The Killing streaming? Hulu

Where is the original streaming? Amazon Prime Video, Topic

Based on the Danish Nordic noir series, The Killing is a police procedural that follows two homicide detectives overseeing the investigation of the murder of a 17-year-old high school girl. Set in the perpetually gray and wet backdrop of Seattle, the series’ aesthetic is highly atmospheric and exudes gloom and malaise. 

Plagued by low viewership numbers during its run, The Killing was canceled and revived twice, but is worth the watch—as is the original, which has a slower pace and goes into more detail with the investigation and character development. 

Ugly Betty

Remake of: Yo soy Betty, la fea

Country of origin: Colombia

Where is Ugly Betty streaming? Hulu

Where is the original streaming? fuboTV

Ugly Betty, about a smart young woman in New York struggling to fit in at her fashion magazine job, is based on the Colombian telenovela Yo soy Betty, la fea. While Betty is self-conscious about her looks in the original—a daily soap opera that ran for 335 episodes—in the prime-time remake, she is unfazed by comments and prefers to focus on her abilities. 

Since the debut of the Colombian original, countless international remakes have been developed including from: Croatia and Serbia, Mexico, Georgia, India, Turkey, Germany, Russia, The Netherlands, Spain, Greece, Belgium, Poland, the Czech Republic, Vietnam, the Philippines, China, Brazil, Egypt, and Thailand

Power Rangers

Remake of: The Super Sentai franchise

Country of origin: Japan

Where is Power Rangers streaming? Netflix

Where is the original streaming? For free on ShoutFactoryTV

If you grew up in the ’90s, you know exactly what to expect here. One of the biggest kids’ franchises on the planet, Power Rangers has been going strong for the past 29 years with a new theme every season, including such gems as: Power Rangers in Space, Power Rangers Mystic Force, and Power Rangers Samurai

Given its heavy use of special effects, giant robots, and giant monsters, is it really that surprising that the franchise was based on a Japanese tokusatsu series? Spanning as far back as 1975, the Super Sentai franchise has continually laid the foundation for every successive entry into the Power Rangers canon. Fun fact: A lot of footage shot in the 1970s and 1980s for various incarnations of Super Sentai were repurposed for episodes of the Power Rangers in the 1990s.

At almost 30 seasons in, it doesn’t look like Power Rangers will be slowing down any time soon.


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