Spaced goes US
Simon Pegg's 'Spaced' is to be made into a US sitcom by Fox, which sounds great, but oddly no one bothered getting in touch with the creators of the British original.
Fox has given the green light to pilot of 'Spaced' which featured Pegg and Jessica Stevenson as two people who pretend to be a couple in an effort to rent a new flat.
The building in which the flat rented was full of various oddballs, but was very funny, pretty geeky (in a good way) and full of pop culture references (plenty of 'Star Wars' much like Kevin Smith's 'Clerks' – no bad thing). It led Pegg, sidekick Nick Frost and director Edgar Wright onto the excellent 'Shaun of the Dead' and the not quite so good (IMHO) 'Hot Fuzz'.
The Fox show is being developed by someone involved heavily in 'Will & Grace' (Adam Barr), can that be a good thing? Also involved is McG (best known for producing on 'The O.C.' and for producing movies such as 'Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle' – I'm sure he is a comedy genius). Mmm.
Oddly though, the producers have not been in contact with either Wright or Pegg, which seems odd. On his MySpace page Wright has this to say.
"The interesting part of that is, no one has been in touch with me at all. Haven't deigned to get in contact. So my involvement is indeed very unclear. Would love to know what you all have to say about it.
"P.S. I can confirm too, that Simon was never contacted either. I don't really want to get involved at all, but it infuriates me that they would a) never bother to get in touch but still b) splash me and Simon's names all over the trade announcements and infer that we're involved."
British shows have enjoyed mixed fortunes on their crossing to the US with 'The Office' being a notable hit (Ricky Gervais gave his full backing to that), while other efforts such as 'Coupling' bombed badly.
The shame is that Pegg & Co only wrote two seven episodes series, giving us just 14 episodes on Channel 4. There was talk of a third series but, with movies to make, that seems unlikely ever to happen.
If 'Spaced' is like the US version of 'The Office' it could work, but that show was so much about the personal relationships between the people involved (acting and writing wise) that it is going to be hard to reproduce it — particularly the way the US sitcom machine works (writing rooms and 26 episodes a year). It could end up with the only connection between the two shows (other than the name) being that they will both be about two people who rent a flat but not a couple and that's about it.