MTV has decided not to pick up a second season of The Inbetweeners, a remake of the award-winning British series. “While we won’t be moving forward with another season of The Inbetweeners, we enjoyed working with the show’s creators and such a talented, funny cast,” MTV spokesperson said.
The writing was on the wall for the comedy, which had soft ratings and recently saw its biggest supporters — head of programming David Janollari and co-head of scripted Clay Spencer — depart in an executive shake-up at the cable network that had Susanne Daniels taking over as new programming chief. Besides Teen Wolf — which had big-name recognition and even bigger marketing muscle behind it, including a premiere behind the MTV Movie Awards — and comedy Awkward, MTV has not been able to make a scripted series stick. Shows like Inbetweeners and I Just Want My Pants Back received critical praise but didn’t get enough promotion and were often stuck with incompatible lead-ins, resulting in low ratings and swift cancellations after one season. That will also likely be the fate for Craig Wright’s freshman Underemployed as new topper Daniels seems to be clearing the decks in order to make her mark at the network.
Brad Copeland wrote the Inbetweeners adaptation and served as showrunner on the series, which he executive produced with Iain Morris and Damon Beesley, creators of the original series, and Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment. The show revolved around four high school boys (Joey Pollari, Bubba Lewis, Zack Pearlman, Mark L. Young) who belong to the “inbetweeners” social class — teens who are not the most cool and popular but not geeky enough to be branded uncool. Alex Frnka co-starred in the series, whose pilot was directed by Taika Waititi.
The Inbetweeners co-creator Iain Morris has defended the show’s US remake.
A trailer for MTV’s revamp of the E4 comedy recently debuted online, provoking a hostile reaction from some fans of the original.
Writing on his Twitter account, Morris explained: “I’m not going to comment on the American Inbetweeners a lot because I have to use Twitter for more interesting things like complaining, but the pilot director, Taika Waititi, has made consistently funny TV shows and one of my favourite films of all time in [2010 comedy-drama] Boy.
“Brad [Copeland], the showrunner, is a very funny man who has worked on Arrested Development and My Name is Earl, two shows I love. Damon [Beesley] and I didn’t have a lot to do with it because we wanted it to be different and American, and it is, I think in a positive way.”
Morris urged fans of the UK Inbetweeners not to “pre-judge” MTV’s version.
“You might like it, you might hate it, but don’t pre-judge it,” he wrote. “And the original will always exist. Always. Never going away.”
He concluded: “Lastly, I know people are only angry about the US Inbetweeners cos they love the UK one, which is amazing really, and honestly appreciated.”
The Inbetweeners will debut on MTV in the US on August 20.
A promotional picture from The Inbetweeners USA has been unveiled.
The image shows Bubba Lewis (Simon), Joey Pollari (Will), Mark L Young (Neil) and Zack Pearlman (Jay) in action as the characters made famous by Joe Thomas, Simon Bird, Blake Harrison and James Buckley in the original Channel 4 show.
The Reservoir Dogs-esque picture suggests that some key elements from the series, such as Simon’s bright yellow Cinquecento Hawaii and Will’s infamous briefcase, will also feature in the adaptation.
The Inbetweeners USA has received the backing of Anthony Head, who cameoed in The Inbetweeners Movie as Will’s father and whose daughter Emily starred in the original series as Carli D’Amato.
“I have to say, sometimes you wonder about translations [but] it’s good, actually,” he said. “They followed [the original] very close. Its themes are pretty common.”
The Inbetweeners will debut on MTV in the US on August 20, while the British big-screen version will receive a stateside release on September 7.
MTV has announced that its remake of The Inbetweeners will be premiering on Monday, August 20th at 10:30. Following the return of viral video hit Ridiculousness, the show will be documenting the lives of Will (Joey Pollari), Simon (Bubba Lewis), Jay (Zack Pearlman), Neil (Mark L. Young), and Carly (Alex Frnka), five high schoolers stuck in the middle of the social ladder. Suffering their fair share of humiliation, they’re not quite “popular” or “cool”, but they have enough personal victories to keep themselves from becoming the bottom of the barrel.
The Inbetweeners is a remake of the 2008 British comedy of the same name, which has went on to three series and a movie. It’ll be MTV’s second attempt at adapting a well-known British teen show, with the American Skins remake lasting one season before cancellation in 2011. There’s no word about the episode order or the way that the show will be adapted; American Skins ended up being a shot-for-shot remake of the British original, while, for example, American Queer as Folk remade the original episodes with minor tweaks before venturing out on its own.
In concept alone, it sounds like it could fit in with the rest of MTV’s scripted line-up, as both Awkward. and Teen Wolf follow their main characters through their (very) different journeys in high school. Plus, pairing The Inbetweeners with the decidedly male-skewing Ridiculousness will give it the most compatible lead-in that MTV has, which could help the night overall, in addition to the new comedy. However, Ridiculousness has yet to launch a show and since the run of The Inbetweeners will leak into fall, its lead-in might not make much of a difference after all.
If you’re a fan of the original The Inbetweeners, what do you think about the prospects of an American remake? Do you think the show could fit in with the rest of MTV’s scripted programming? Will you be watching the remake?