Syfy to Create American Remake of BBC’s “Being Human”

A. Quinton — Oct. 29th 2009

Reuters and SCI FI Wire are reporting that Syfy (formerly and less ridiculously known as the Sci Fi Channel) is planning an Americanized remake of “Being Human“, the BBC’s popular comedy-drama about a werewolf, a vampire and a ghost living together in Bristol. “It turned out great as we can now do an American version,” Syfy president Dave Howe told The Hollywood Reporter. “We’ve always been keen on vampires and werewolves, and we loved the originality of ‘Being Human,’ the fact that the fantastical creatures in it are very young, accessible and charming.”

Despite Dave’s peppy attitude, reactions of fans of the original series seems to be largely negative. io9’s Meredith Woerner makes some great observations about the cultural and class differences between US and UK audiences that will probably result in much of the show’s charm being lost, and regarding the Dave Howe quote above, she notes: “They loved the originality of it so much, they decided to remake it.”

I am ashamed to admit that I haven’t seen Being Human at all, other than a behind-the-scenes feature on show’s formidable werewolf transformation effects. I am definitely going to track it down this weekend, though– it sounds like I’m missing out on a real phenomenon, and I’d like to experience it before it gets “remixed”, American-style.

  • Maewolf

    The show is amazing, I mean its british so it has that feel to it which can be really odd. However i would sugest it to anyone who enjoys werewolves/vampires/ghosts lol I hope they can make it work out.

  • Jason

    I agree. It’s a great show, and I’m so sick of British shows being remade into American versions. It won’t be nearly as good, I can guarantee you that right now.

    I mean, how many American shows are on British TV sets .. or other countries all around the world??? Can’t we as Americans just for once watch a British show without having to mess it up and sterilize it?

  • DuckyCharms

    There have been many British to American remakes that have totaly missed the mark because American TV producers don’t understand or are to affraid of British storytelling: 1990’s Doctor Who; Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; Does anyone remeber the American remake of Coupling? Yikes! However there are a few jewels where the American remakes are better. They are mostly reality shows like Hell’s Kitchen and American Idol but who cares about those when fans want a decent werewolf that doesn’t look like an actor covered in glue and yak hair or a cartoonish CGI model who looks like he’s running away from Droopy the Dog. However, Being Human could be the next Queer as Folk, where they take the original concept and see how far they can stretch the boundries.
    Having only seen the pilot of the original Being Human via You Tube I can see that there are many different directions where they could take the show. It would be nice if SYFY productions explored the routs not taken in the original construct. The verdict is still out, but with the right writers and the right team they could take the original foundaion but build something entirely new and creative.

  • Mac

    We love it so much, but let’s remake it because no one understands those crazy Brits. Pfft. Just release the bloody original version here. It will save you money and people will actually like it unlike whatever horrible remake you come up with.

    I’m convinced SyFy is run by morons. (It has to be considering the stupid name change.)

  • I haven’t seen the original, but if SyFy is going to remake it you can guarantee it’ll be horrible.

  • Nyetwerke

    Agh, yes, I tried to find it on Amazon in the United States but its evidently only available on Amazon.uk. Its a shame because it seems like a very good series but why remake something that evidently works? Release it to BBC America or give us Yanks a Region 1 DVD boxed set.

  • Doruk

    NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Leave it alone!

  • Mac

    @ Nyetwerke: It is on BBC America. :)

    If you look in the right places you can find all of the first 6 episodes online. That’s how I saw them.

  • Yep, it’s a good show and you should watch it. And yep, if Syfy remakes it I’m sure it’ll stink.

  • Kass

    I am not British, (well actually I am partly) but I think that if this show was americanized, it would lose all of the character and humor that it has because it’s British. And what’s the point anyways? It’s not like just because it’s a British TV show, it can’t be watched in America too. It’s on Comcast’s On Demand, and it’s on BBC America, so why does it need to be made into an American show? Most americans that are into watching TV probably have On Demand or something like it, and with the internet, you can watch almost anything. So why the f*** would it need to be remade?

  • Mulberry

    I agree with Kass. The show is great, it’s current and can be watched by most Americans easily. I’m not too big on remakes of anything, but I can kind of see the point if it is something that was popular a long time ago and new episodes are no longer being made. Then it might make sense to remake something to modernize it and use current special effects so that it would be more likely to appeal to a current audience. In this case, it just sounds like the SciFi channel (excuse me, I’m sticking with the old name) is trying to muscle in on someone elses good thing; essentially stealing their idea. I’m not trying to badmouth the SciFi channel, though, because I love some of their original series, too. Warehouse 13 in particular.

  • Peter

    I, like others, have watched Season 1 of Being Human via the Internet and BBC America; howevr, as much as I enjoy new and different takes on werewolves, I am not much into emo and melodrama.
    I agree that if Siffy re-makes Being Human they will make it worse, but, I hold out a tiny ray of hope that they would remove some of the melodrama and George’s emo-ness.

    It should be possible to explore the life of someone reluctant to become a werewolf without resorting to “a schmuck, loser of a guy has do deal with being a werewolf three days out of 30”.

    One of the reasons British drama doesnt work in the US is because no-one wants to watch Joe nerd-boy have an ordinary life and try to muddle through it. In America, TV is a way to escape everyday tedium, not to watch the neighbor guy be boring except for five minutes out of 60.

    I dont think even schadenfreude makes Being Human interesting. Of course, it could just be me.

  • Waka

    This show is amazing, im British and there are some shows which are weird and just stupid, and others which are completely original and good in their own right. If this show goes American, what’s the point? The whole point of the show is about a vampire, werewolf and ghost who live in a flat in Bristol. Going American might mean that people will spend a lot of money on CGI and twilighting the show, making it just as unbearable as the twilight films. It will just be a disaster. And Syfy for goodness sake!
    Anyway, I would recommend watching the show online, it is SOOO goood, definetly a must see!

  • ForsakenMoon19

    I just like to add that there have been plenty of british shows remade to an american audience in the past and some hits spring to mind like “The Office” and “Queer as Folk”, plus the Uk are now in the process of remaking their own version of BEING ERICA so I don’t understand what the big damn deal is!! I’m a huge fan of the origional BEING HUMAN series and I had the luxory of seeing the first part of the pilot to the US version and although there are some similarities it was absolutely fantastic!! The cast are all charming, the story is followable and in time I can tell this show will become its own beast, I’m very excited to see the second part of the pilot as we speak!!:)