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Author Topic: US Versions Airing in Other Countries?  (Read 1873 times)

Argo

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US Versions Airing in Other Countries?
« on: October 15, 2021, 01:25:21 PM »
Hi Everyone,

I have been watching some old British game shows lately and I'm wondering if the UK, and other countries, air or have aired the US versions along side their own localized editions, or are they not made available to foreign markets. I assume not as it would be very confusing for some viewers, especially if/when both series are in production, but still curious all the same. This excludes any US stations broadcasting in these markets of course.

Some scenarios that come to mind would be:

UK and AUS Wheel of Fortune / US Wheel of Fortune
Family Fortunes / Family Feud
79-81 (UK) Blankety Blank - (AUS) Blankety Blanks / Match Game
70's UK Celebrity Squares / 70's US Hollywood Squares
UK & AUS (TPIR) / US TPIR
etc...

In Canada we rarely get localized versions of US shows (probably a good thing), but other countries do seem to want their own versions, which sometimes have a much longer life than the original US shows.

thanks
m

nowhammies10

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Re: US Versions Airing in Other Countries?
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2021, 04:21:40 PM »
In Canada we rarely get localized versions of US shows

Oh yeah, we never get localized versions of US shows.  Y'know, except for:
  • Are You Smarter than a Canadian 5th Grader?
  • Cash Cab
  • Deal or No Deal Canada
  • Family Feud Canada -- still airing
  • Match Game Canada
  • Mr. and Mrs. -- a proto-Newlywed Game that had a much longer life in the UK
  • Supermarket Sweep
  • To Tell The Truth -- ran on CTV in the early '60s
  • Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Canadian Edition
Not to mention shows like Split Second, Chain Reaction, Jackpot!, Pitfall, and Let's Make A Deal, which had concurrent US and Canadian runs, plus the spate of reality shows: everything from The Amazing Race Canada to Canada's Drag Race since the early 2000s.

Also not included here are French-language adaptations for the Québecois market, things like Lingo, La Guerre des Clans, and Pyramide over the years. 

Safe to say we've had a ton of American imports, and in some cases I think the current media landscape in Canada doesn't allow for home-grown formats to shine anymore.

SuperMatch93

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Re: US Versions Airing in Other Countries?
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2021, 04:28:20 PM »
Foxtel aired the US Price is Right in Australia for a while, though I'm not sure if the Australian version was on the air at that time.
-William

"Game shows aren't about cruelty. They're about greed and wonderful prizes like poorly built catamarans." - Homer Simpson

Argo

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Re: US Versions Airing in Other Countries?
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2021, 05:06:27 PM »
In Canada we rarely get localized versions of US shows

Oh yeah, we never get localized versions of US shows.  Y'know, except for:
  • Are You Smarter than a Canadian 5th Grader?
  • Cash Cab
  • Deal or No Deal Canada
  • Family Feud Canada -- still airing
  • Match Game Canada
  • Mr. and Mrs. -- a proto-Newlywed Game that had a much longer life in the UK
  • Supermarket Sweep
  • To Tell The Truth -- ran on CTV in the early '60s
  • Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Canadian Edition
Not to mention shows like Split Second, Chain Reaction, Jackpot!, Pitfall, and Let's Make A Deal, which had concurrent US and Canadian runs, plus the spate of reality shows: everything from The Amazing Race Canada to Canada's Drag Race since the early 2000s.

Also not included here are French-language adaptations for the Québecois market, things like Lingo, La Guerre des Clans, and Pyramide over the years. 

Safe to say we've had a ton of American imports, and in some cases I think the current media landscape in Canada doesn't allow for home-grown formats to shine anymore.

Stand corrected with egg all over.

I guess it is more a case of not wanting to remember a most of them instead, other than some of the French shows. Also, I should have added not including the US joint productions as they are considered the same series. If that's the case, BtC'69 and New Liar's Club would also be in that list as well, among others of course.

Sorry for the brain fart. Some of us still think Jim Perry was Canadian.

Nick

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Re: US Versions Airing in Other Countries?
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2021, 09:31:04 AM »
in some cases I think the current media landscape in Canada doesn't allow for home-grown formats to shine anymore.

Anymore or ever?  I think back to the maxim of the operations manager at one the Canadian radio stations at which I used to be part of the on-air staff whenever the subject of playing Christmas music was discussed and his opinion on the many different versions of the same twelve songs: "Why am I going to play ‘Last Christmas’ by anyone else when I've got it by Wham?"

He also on one occasion, when the Chrétien government Heritage Minister Sheila Copps said to him in conversation at some gala event that Canadian radio stations need to do more to promote Canadian artists, replied to her, "Not counting the ones that have been given to you, how many CDs by Canadian artists do you own?"  Touché.

So, why would Canadians, who already have access to the American TV market, settle for carbon copies of the same shows (whether you put Canada in the name or not) that always comes with lower budgets and payoffs when they can view the originals?  It's quite gratingly cheesy too when they try to make them "identifiably Canadian content" with stunts such as Canadian-themed questions or sticking the maple leaf somewhere in the logo.

As for those with the concurrent runs both sides of the border, they were the beneficiaries of disparities in exchange rates and available tax credits that made it cost-effective for the Americans to produce here and at the same time gave Canadian stations something to fill those Cancon quotas.

Somebody around here linked an interview a while back that Alex Trebek gave back in the '70s on the subject of Canadian game shows where he commented how they're a tougher ball game because they never have the big prizes the American ones can afford and play in a much smaller station market that's dominated by "the state broadcaster".  Alas, in forty years, not much has changed.

The UK and other countries can take American exports for game shows far more feasibly because the viewers in those markets don't have the American counterparts a few channels down on the dial.  They also tend to much more to make the shows their own, whether it's the sets, the theme, the execution or whatever (on the subject of execution, one of the best examples of this I have seen was the Australian version of Deal or No Deal.  It was a hoot.  The American version... I wouldn't last two minutes with it).  Their unique cultures shine through without it being forced into the product (lest I be accused of insinuating there are no cultural differences between Americans and Canadians, I believe very much otherwise, though in the postmodern Canada, "Canadian culture" in commonplace tends to be, "Well, we're not like those Americans...")

This is why Québecois market can and has done a much better job in the Canadian media landscape at importing American shows because, well, first of all, they change the language to be that of the majority in one part of Canada who is probably not watching the American, English counterparts, immediately injecting themselves into that unique culture.  I gather there aren't too many Anglophones who make themselves routine viewers of the Franco-Canadian game shows (maybe federal public servants who are looking to brush up on their French for job requirements, but you lose that audience once they pass the test).

nowhammies10

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Re: US Versions Airing in Other Countries?
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2021, 10:15:38 AM »
I agree that there has been limited success in the English-language market over the last, I dunno, 20-odd years in importing US formats and making them Canadian. Most of the time it's been a ratings stunt for like 5 shows (think of Millionaire, DOND, 5th Grader?). Family Feud Canada's the only major outlier in traditional studio formats that's had anything vaguely resembling success.

If you branch out to "reality competition", Big Brother and The Amazing Race are two case studies in how to do popular US shows right. From what I understand, you can add Drag Race to that list as well.

But my original point stands, home-grown Canadian game show formats don't get the chance to shine anymore in the English market. It says a lot to me that the last traditional in-studio production to be a totally Canadian original was Uh-Oh!.

/^which, American friends, if you haven't seen it, Uh-Oh! is like Double Dare on speed, acid, and more speed.
//I loved watching Lingo on SRC (French CBC) as a kid too. "L'infâme boule noire!"

Nick

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Re: US Versions Airing in Other Countries?
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2021, 10:40:53 AM »
Family Feud Canada's the only major outlier in traditional studio formats that's had anything vaguely resembling success.

Which varies on two counts from the other three you mentioned (Millionaire, DoND and 5th Grader) in that it airs on CBC and not CTV and is also not the same station running the American counterparts on simultaneous substitution (which, for those not in the know, is the Canadian practice of the American station signal being overridden by the Canadian station airing the same episode of the same program.  It's why we were cheated out of the Super Bowl commercials during the game's broadcast for years until the commercials were deemed to be an "integral part" of the program).

It says a lot to me that the last traditional in-studio production to be a totally Canadian original was Uh-Oh!.

Well, kids are a different market because a show like Uh Oh! can get by with a shoestring budget since they don't have to devote it to big prizes (they were usually nothing bigger than stereos) while simultaneously diverting attention away from that fact with lots of slime and goop being spilled everywhere.

I do give Uh Oh! credit for success where it was due (e.g., the Slime Tour segments), but they really stretched out the show with a lot of filler (the entire first segment usually ran around 3 minutes and never included any gameplay), and the game suffered from horribly flawed format (Trade and Spin had no business being on the wheel, especially not in the final round.  I saw one episode once where one contestant went to the Speed Round on the first spin of the final round* and proceeded to answer, "I don't know" for nearly every question, which makes for stupid television but was the wisest move on his part as he and his partner were already in the lead, and one of his opponents spinning Trade and Spin after that would have taken their score with a runaway lead with no time to catch up unless he got lucky on Trade and Spin.  Throwing the round meant that if worst came to worst, the gap to close would have been much smaller).

*For the record, each team got two spins at the wheel in a round.  If you got one of the "and spin" spaces twice in a row, which were Win (20 points) and Spin, Lose (20 points) and Spin or Trade (your score with another team's) and Spin, you did not get another spin; and yes, you were forced to trade away your score on Trade and Spin even if you were in the lead and even if you couldn't get another spin after that, which did result in teams being forced to give away a win.

clemon79

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Re: US Versions Airing in Other Countries?
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2021, 02:50:41 PM »
"Why am I going to play ‘Last Christmas’ by anyone else when I've got it by Wham?"

Because you don't want to piss off your listeners by blowing Whammageddon for them? :)
Chris Lemon, King Fool, Director of Suck Consolidation
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Nick

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Re: US Versions Airing in Other Countries?
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2021, 03:01:12 PM »
Because you don't want to piss off your listeners by blowing Whammageddon for them? :)

Didn't know this was a thing, but it illustrates my point, though I think we would have tuned out more listeners by playing some other version that would only sound inferior against the original.  I mean, why did Darius Rucker even try a rendition of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"?  Find me one person who actually thinks any cover of a novelty Christmas song is better than the "definitive version".

nowhammies10

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Re: US Versions Airing in Other Countries?
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2021, 04:04:07 PM »
Find me one person who actually thinks any cover of a novelty Christmas song is better than the "definitive version".

I for one enjoy Denny Brownlee as Porky Pig Seymour Swine doing Blue Christmas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pg7HvF3a_Iw