ABC Hands Pilot Order To Adaptation Of BBC Three’s ‘Bad Education’, Jack Whitehall To Star

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ABC topper Paul Lee’s habit of attempting to adapt British shows continues. The network has given a pilot order to comedy Bad Education, an adaptation of the British series of the same name which recently finished airing its second season on the channel and is set to return next month for a Christmas special.

The US version of Bad Education, titled An American Education, will see series creator and star Jack Whitehall reprise his role as teacher Alfie Wickers, an unorthodox teacher working in the Chicago school system. Tiger Aspect Productions, who produce the original British series, and ABC Studios are producing the pilot with Ben Cavey, Jack Whitehall, Peter Huyck and Alex Gregory serving as executive producers. The script was penned by Huyck and Gregory. Production on the pilot is slated to commence in January in LA.

With the pilot order, Bad Education is the latest in a recent trend of attempting to adapt successful British series for the US market. Such attempted adaptations, though worth good money to the UK indies involved, have rarely worked. Last season alone, several British series were adapted by ABC, NBC and Fox such as Gavin & Stacey, Only Fools And Horses, Gates, Spy and The Syndicate. Of those only the Gavin & Stacey and The Syndicate pilots (Us & Them and Lucky 7, respectively) made it to series, with both having been quickly cancelled. The real question is can Bad Education buck this trend and becomes a success in the US?