It’s par for the course in the high stakes world of television that if an idea is successful, it will be replicated across other countries and cultures. The US version of The Office is probably the most visible of these, being originally based on the eponymous UK sitcom created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the former taking the lead role.
It’s happened, to a greater or lesser extent, with tonnes of other shows – Spaced (UK) was turned into an unsuccessful US pilot, as was Coupling (UK) and The Thick of It (UK) – the last of those being reformatted by creator Armando Iannucci into the American critical darling and extremely funny show Veep, airing on HBO and starring Julia Louis-Dreyfuss.
It may be common for sitcoms, but it also happens in other genres of television. Homeland is based on an Israeli TV show called Hatufim (Prisoners of War, in English), while The X-Factor and The Voice brands have been trotted out all over the world, to varying degrees of success and/or nausea.
Why the impromptu history lesson into transnational TV remakes? No reason, just wanted to tell you guys. You can go now.
Nope, nothing here, nothing else.
Ok, now that those guys have gone, here’s the big news – Breaking Bad, the current Best Damn Thing on Television (Maybe Ever) and the show everybody hopes is a Malcolm In The Middle sequel/prequel, is going to have a Spanish language remake. In the original, Walter White (Bryan Cranston) is a chemistry teacher who, after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, decides to provide for his family after he’s gone by using his chemistry skills to become the International King of Meth.
The remake will be called Metastasis and star Diego Trujillo as Walter Blanco (get it?! get it?!), Roberto Urbina as Jose Miguel Rosas, Walter Blanco’s partner in crime (Jesse in the original), Sandra Reyes as Walter’s wife Cielo (Skylar), and Julian Arango as Walter’s narcotics agent brother-in-law Henry (Hank). Univision broke the news a few days ago, before everybody had dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s, but Sony have now given the go-ahead for the deal.
Metastasis will no doubt use its themes to focus on more local issues, such as the drug crime that is rife throughout Latin America, allowing the show potentially even more impact than it’s had in the US and around the world.
No word on a start date as of yet (beyond that vague “2014”), but the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad will start airing on August 11th, if that’s any good to you.