9 TV remakes and reboots that lasted longer than the originals

TV remakes and reboots can be tricky beasts. For every The Office or Shameless, there’s a Heroes Reborn or Charlie’s Angels.

In the main, new versions tend to fall on the side of garbage but, on rare occasions, the telly gods get it right.

Sometimes, TV execs manage not to completely mess it up and produce a new version that is not only watchable but also manages to outlast its source.

Here are nine remakes that lasted longer than their originals.

1. Poldark

Aidan Turner has turned heads and much more besides as the scarred, rugged-rascal Ross Poldark with currently 35 episodes of shirt-removing fun to be had (with one more series coming next year).

The original 1975 version, which didn’t have so much bare-chested action, only clocked in 29 instalments over two series (and the eps were shorter too).

2. The Office

The BBC original, written and created by Ricky Gervais and Steven Merchant, ran for 14 episodes (that’s two better than Fawlty Towers, fact fans).

When the US remake came along (initially dubbed The Office: An American Workplace in the UK), things didn’t look good and its first season of six episodes looked like that would be it.

But the talent involved was recognised, the show was picked up and they never looked back. Steve Carrell ably filled in as the awkward-boss lead role whilst Pam and Jim became the focal point for many fans (just as Dawn and Tim did).

The Office US remake ran for an impressive 201 eps.

3. Humans

C4’s sci-fi series about all-too real robots was based on the Swedish show, Real Humans.

The Scandinavian series came to an end in 2014 after 20 eps whilst the remake, starring Gemma Chan and, has slightly bettered it with 24 so far. A fourth season hasn’t been announced but it’s still a possibility says co-creator Sam Vincent.

Watch out though, Humans is getting a Chinese makeover which could overtake its tally.

4. Battlestar Galactica

The cheap small-screen Star Wars knock-off (yes, it was) totalled 34 eps after the Apollo, Starbuck and the gang finally made it to their destination and started getting up to hi-jinx on Earth.

Jump forward two decades and Ronald D Moore reboots it, making Cylons sexy and giving the very traditional science-fiction feel a political edge.

Throughout the ’00s, BSG picked up fans and awards, blasting its way through 75 stories.

5. Homeland

Some viewers of the Showtime thriller starring Claire Danes may not be aware that, in fact, it’s based on Israeli series Prisoners of War.

Running for two season at the beginning of the decade Hatufim, as it’s known in its home, delivered 24 episodes whilst its American remake, which comes to an next year, has rolled out (with another 12 in its final season).

But beating Homeland is POW – Bandi Yuddh Ke, the Indian version with110 episodes (however, each one is around 24 mins).

6. The Clangers

It’s not often a beloved old children’s telly programme comes back and proves to be more popular than ever (with the exception of Doctor Who, of course).

But that’s exactly what happened with everyone’s favourite inhabitants of the Moon, the Clangers. Over the ’60s and ’70s, only 27 episodes were broadcast (including one special) but the show’s triumphant comeback in 2015 has seen an incredible 80 instalments (including two specials).

Michael Palin currently narrates the series.

7. House Of Cards

Netflix has brilliantly conquered the fact that Kevin Spacey is no longer fronting the political thriller with their recent trailer promoting the new season.

Number six sees Robin Wright take centre stage and will ramp up the episode count to 78.

Almost thirty years ago, the BBC’s original (based on the novel of the same name) starred Ian Richardson in the pivotal role of Francis Urquhart. Over its run – including follow up series To Play The King and The Final Cut – the notorious politician whipped up just 12 episodes.

8. The Killing

Just winning, and we mean just, is the US remake of classic Nordic drama, The Killing.

Known as Forbrydelsen in its home of Denmark, the police procedural made an international star of of its lead Sofie Gråbøl and also of comfy jumpers. In the UK, its popularity outranked the likes of Mad Men with over one million tuning in on BBC Four for its 40 gripping instalments.

The American remake didn’t fare as well. It was cancelled after three seasons but picked up for a final fourth by Netflix, taking its ep count to 44. Just beating its source material.

9. Sanford & Son

UK viewers might be unfamiliar with this particular entry, as it never aired in Blighty, but this was a hugely successful US sitcom.

A remake of the very British Steptoe & Son, it featured the very foul-mouthed stand-up Redd Foxx as Fred G Sanford, the Stateside version of dirty old man Albert Steptoe (Wilfrid Brambell).

The original amassed 57 episodes whilst its US take outnumbered that with 136 outings of get-rich-quick schemes.

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