Spot the fake news item (British Import edition)

16120__prisoner_lAll three of these deals have been reported in actual newspapers recently, but one of them is, apparently, pure fiction. See if you can spot the fake project:

A. Cable channel AMC has greenlit a new series that will be a remake of The Prisoner, the classic 1960s British brain-bending drama that starred Patrick McGoohan (pictured).

B. Victoria Beckham will star as an alien bride in The Thetan, a Tom Cruise-produced sci-fi movie inspired by Scientology lore.

C. ABC is Americanizing the BBC sudser Footballers’ Wives, with Superman Returns director Bryan Singer attached to shoot the pilot.

(See the answer after the jump.)

addCredit(“The Prisoner: Everett Collection”)

I didn’t want to believe A., since the classic show isn’t exactlycrying out for a TV remake, and besides, there’s already a big-screenversion in the works from director Christopher Nolan (The Prestige,Batman Begins). But Variety says it’s so. Regarding C., Bryan Singer seems (for a great many reasons, including his dry-to-the-point-of-nonexistent sense of humor) like the last guy who should be adapting Footballers’ Wives, but again, Variety says he’s producing the ABC version and may direct it as well. So that leaves B., which was described in a detailed account in Britain’s Daily Star; alas, Cruise’s rep tells MSNBC’s Jeannette Walls that there is no such project in development. Too bad; I’m not sold on an AMC Prisoner or a Singer-directed Footballers’ Wives, but I’d certainly pay to see Posh Spice in Battlefield Earth II.

Comments (34 total) Add your comment
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  • Sven

    This was perhaps the most obvious of all fake news stories, so pity the fool who would believe such tripe.

  • Marnie

    hey Gary, I read this over at IMDB:
    Cruise Planning Scientology Movie Starring Ex-Spice Girl?
    Tom Cruise may be planning to follow in the footsteps of John Travolta and make a movie based on the ideas of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. According to the London Daily Star, Cruise has already cast former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, the wife of soccer star David Beckham, to star in the movie, titled The Thetan in the role of an “alien bride.” In Hubbard’s thinking, “the thetan” is the spiritual part of man that advances from one lifetime to the next, inhabiting the minds and bodies of generations of individuals. According to the tabloid, Cruise is financing the movie on his own after the major studios rejected it. Travolta’s $73-million movie based on Hubbard’s sci-fi novel Battlefield Earth was a major flop, grossing just $21 million at the domestic box office.
    They’re just teasing us over at the Daily Star, aren’t they?

  • JenJen

    Bryan Singer also produces House, and it is pretty funny for being a medical drama. They know how to make you laugh at the most disgusting things on that show!

  • Simon

    Why haven’t American networks learned that they cannot remake British television? I cannot speak for The Office as I have long given up on this. NBC ruined Coupling and Men Behaving Badly.
    Please ABC, do not try to Americanize “Footballers’ Wives”!

  • Jakeem

    As I recall, U.S. television has done quite well Americanizing such British TV imports as “Til Death Us Do Part,” “Steptoe and Son” and “Pop Idol.” And let’s not forget “Whose Line Is It Anyway” and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”
    Personally, I am looking forward to David E. Kelley’s take on “Life on Mars.”!

  • veronica

    PLEASE do NOT americanize FOOTBALLERS WIVES!! that show IS AMAZING!! no one can replace Tanya….if u do, ill vow not to watch…IF u do however to continue with the show, PLEASE cast the original TANYA, shes the only one perfect for the role……..

  • Ed

    Coupling was actually the BBC version of Friends. That show did a full circle as an import.
    Coupling would have worked if they did it AFTER Friends went off the air.

  • Garry

    “Coupling” was not a British version of “Friends”. The two shows aren’t really as similar as they might appear to the casual viewer. And it’s very true, unfortunately, that American TV producers and networks have a very long history of creating inferior versions of British sitcoms. There were two failed attempts to remake “Fawlty Towers” here, as well as stillborn attempts to create American versions of “Red Dwarf” and “Absolutely Fabulous.” Then there was “Cosby”, which was such a watered down version of the brilliant “One Foot In The Grave” that Bill Cosby should have been arrested for assaulting a comic masterpiece.
    I could go on with many other examples, but won’t–in the interest of full disclosure, I wrote a book a few years ago about Britcoms called “Best of the Britcoms”, so this subject tends to get my dander up whenever I stumble upon it on message boards an elsewhere.
    By the way, “The Prisoner” is the program which is due to be re-made.

  • eric murphy

    so far, i think that it’s best to pay homage to The Prisoner (as was done brilliantly by an episode of The Simpsons) than it is to remake it. But that’s just me.

  • Martha

    If “Coupling” is the BBC version of “Friends,” why isn’t it less funny?
    Seriously, kids, the UK “Coupling” is hilarious and you can see it here on DVD or Comcast OnDemand.

  • Jess B.

    I know it’s total BS, but I really wish ‘B’ was true, because that would be the most unintentionally hilarious thing ever.

  • Karla

    I thought it obvious that B is the fake story. But then I play along with this game every week – when it’s played on the Howard Stern show.

  • elizz

    “Personally, I am looking forward to David E. Kelley’s take on “Life on Mars.”!”
    oh God, NO, please No! i just don’t see it working with American studios.

  • Jeff

    Will they use Football players wives or Soccer players wives? Neither sound all that interesting

  • Scott

    The Footballer’s remake has been talked about for a while and I think it is terrible. For one, American television is too conservative to show some of things the UK show does and without it, what’s the point? Who wants to watch it watered down? And they would obviously have to use American football or basketball as the sport around which the show revolves (as most people don’t care about soccor here). And finally, like veronica says, Zoe Lucker (Tanya) makes the show, so, unless, they manage to get someone equally as good at playing a likable bad girl, like Heather Locklear, no one would have the same impact.

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