American version of Have I Got News For You piloted

Saturday 10th November 2012 @ 8:21pm

Have I Got News For You. Image credit: Hat Trick Productions.Have I Got News For You, the BBC's flagship topical comedy series, could be set to become a hit in America.

Last night (Friday 9th November) a not-for-broadcast pilot episode was filmed for executives at the TBS channel to review.

Jimmy Mulville, the founder of Hat Trick Productions, which has made the UK version of HIGNFY since its inception in 1990, flew to New York on Monday to oversee the project.

Hat Trick has previously successfully exported Whose Line Is It Anyway? to the US, and is currently working with Showtime on a third series of the sitcom Episodes. A re-working of its family-friendly sitcom Spy for American audiences is also under way.

Cable station TBS - Turner Broadcasting System - is part of the Time Warner media empire, alongside brands such as Cartoon Network and CNN. Focusing on comedy, its schedule mainly consists of repeats and the current line-up includes Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond and Seinfeld.

Some of the channel's original formats include Meet The Browns, Are We There Yet? and Tyler Perry's For Better Or Worse. As of 2013, TBS will take over from ABC in making and broadcasting the US sitcom Cougar Town, too.

Sam Seder. Sam Seder (pictured), a US stand-up comedian and talk show radio presenter, hosted the pilot edition last night. He currently presents a daily political radio show called The Majority Report, and regularly performs politically-inspired stand-up. In 2004 Seder was briefly detained by the Secret Service after trying to find a homosexual Republican to speak on-air during coverage of the Republican National Convention.

Although it has not been officially confirmed, it is believed that the team captains taking part were Michael Ian Black, a stand-up comedian and poker player, who is a regular Twitter user with nearly 2m followers; and Sherrod Small, a New York born stand-up comedian who is a cousin of Chris Rock.

With Barack Obama re-elected as President earlier in the week, unsurprisingly much of the pilot was taken up with discussion of the election. The taped episode will now be viewed by executives at TBS who will decide whether or not to order a series.

Asked on Twitter "Will the UK get to see the US version of HIGNFY?", Jimmy Mulville responded "No, it's an unbroadcast pilot for TBS. If it gets a series, maybe."

When another Twitter user cheekily asked: "Will your host lose his job after shagging prostitutes in the American version?", the producer's tongue-in-cheek response was, "Hope so".

This is the third time an attempt has been made to export Have I Got News For You to the States. Most recently, in November 2009, a pilot was recorded for the NBC network, with Sam Seder again as the host. Michael Ian Black also appeared in that pilot as a team captain, with Greg Giraldo - a circuit comedian who died in 2010 following an accidental overdose of prescription medication - appearing as the other captain. NBC opted not to continue with the project.

Have I Got News For You. Image shows from L to R: Angus Deayton, Ian Hislop, Paul Merton. Image credit: Hat Trick Productions.Whilst the comedy panel show format is very prevalent in the UK, with multiple shows on both radio and television each week, including hit shows like 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Mock The Week, the format has yet to take hold in America.

Multi-guest improv format Whose Line Is It Anyway? ran for many years in the United States from the late 1990s, and Graham Norton presented a show called Would You Rather? on BBC America in 2011, but the American TV landscape still mainly consists of sitcoms, stand-up specials and late-night talk shows.

Last night also marked the 10th anniversary of guest hosts on the UK version of HIGNFY. Since Angus Deayton was sacked from the show due to tabloid revelations about his private life, there have been 85 different guest presenters helming 179 episodes. HIGNFY has run for 22 years to date, and the next series (Series 45) will see the show pass the 400 episode mark.

American TV networks are currently looking to British TV for a number of new format ideas. As previously reported, British comedies currently being re-made or piloted in America include Gavin & Stacey, White Van Man, Misfits, Rev, Getting On, Only Fools And Horses, Whites and Feel The Force.

Below is a video from Thursday, in which Sam Seder presenting Majority Report talks about Fox News's reaction to Obama being elected as President:


Our Guide to 'Have I Got News For You'

 

Latest News

ITV recommissions Sunday Night At The Palladium

ITV recommissions Sunday Night At The Palladium

ITV will return to the London Palladium in 2015 for a second revived series of the comic variety format.

Big School writers The Dawson Bros create US sitcom

Big School writers The Dawson Bros create US sitcom

Prolific British comedy writing team The Dawson Brothers are working on The Spencer Tapes, a sitcom for NBC in America.

America has another go at re-making The IT Crowd

America has another go at re-making The IT Crowd

A second attempt is to be made to re-work Channel 4 sitcom The IT Crowd for American audiences. Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence is working on a NBC pilot.

Moone Boy to be re-made in America

Moone Boy to be re-made in America

Moone Boy, the Sky sitcom created by Chris O'Dowd, is to be re-made by the US television network ABC.

Channel 4 retires the 10 O'Clock Live format

Channel 4 retires the 10 O'Clock Live format

Channel 4 has confirmed that its topical comedy show 10 O'Clock Live starring Charlie Brooker, Jimmy Carr, David Mitchell and Lauren Laverne will not return.

Last Of The Summer Wine spin-off in development

Last Of The Summer Wine spin-off in development

Last Of The Summer Wine Producer and Director Alan J W Bell has filmed a spin-off pilot starring Ken Kitson and Louis Emerick as policemen Cooper and Walsh.

Get More News

In The Press

In The Press

The latest press clippings from the newspapers and various internet blogs.

Newsletter

Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list to get news and more in your inbox every Monday.

Twitter

Twitter Feed

You can follow us on Twitter too. We post the latest news and gossip every evening.

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Subscribe to our RSS feed to get our headlines in your news reader software.

Cofilmic Festival workshops

Cofilmic Festival workshops

The Cofilmic Comedy Film Festival 2014 -has announced various cheap panels and workshops for creators. Read

Jason Byrne interview

Jason Byrne interview

Jason Byrne talks about why Father Figure didn't work, his next TV show, and touring his new live show. Read

Teckle Books interview

Teckle Books interview

An interview with the authors behind the comedic novels from new publishing outfit Teckle Books. Read

Mark Gatiss podcast

Mark Gatiss podcast

The League of Gentlemen and Sherlock star Mark Gatiss is Richard Herring's funny guest in this episode. Listen

Kitson and Lee together

Kitson and Lee together

A report from the charity gig in which two comedy heavyweights collided: Daniel Kitson and Stuart Lee. Read

Give Out Girls interview

Give Out Girls interview

Hatty Ashdown, the creator of Comedy Central's new sitcom Give Out Girls, introduces her show here. Read

Alan Carr interview

Alan Carr interview

Alan Carr talks about co-hosting Channel 4's charity fundraising night Stand Up To Cancer on Friday. Read

United We Fall interview

United We Fall interview

An interview with Gary Sinyor, the creator of the football-based comedy film United We Fall. Read

Katherine Ryan podcast

Katherine Ryan podcast

Richard Herring's hit interview show is back for a new series. The first guest is Katherine Ryan. Listen

John Cleese video interview

John Cleese video interview

Ahead of the publication of his new book, John Cleese talks to Eddie Izzard about various comedy topics. Watch

Musical Comedy Awards 2015

Musical Comedy Awards 2015

Entry is now open for the WeGotTickets Musical Comedy Awards 2015. The heats start in mid-January. Read

Christmas gags competition

Christmas gags competition

TV channel Gold has launched its 2014 search for the best new Christmas cracker jokes. Read