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

Sky orders another three series of A League Of Their Own

Sky orders another three series of A League Of Their Own

Sky has struck a long-term deal with the producers of James Corden's sports-based panel show A League Of Their Own, keeping it on air until at least 2017.

Miranda Hart tipped to host The Generation Game revival

Miranda Hart tipped to host The Generation Game revival

Miranda Hart is reportedly being lined-up to host a new version of The Generation Game.

Darren Boyd stars as midwife in ITV sitcom The Delivery Man

Darren Boyd stars as midwife in ITV sitcom The Delivery Man

Spy and Green Wing star Darren Boyd will play a midwife in The Delivery Man, a new sitcom pilot for ITV.

Katherine Parkinson to star in ITV sitcom pilot

Katherine Parkinson to star in ITV sitcom pilot

Katherine Parkinson, Stephen Tompkinson and Ralf Little are to star as mismatched housemates in a brand new sitcom pilot for ITV.

Julia Davis creates new pilot for Channel 4

Julia Davis creates new pilot for Channel 4

Julia Davis has written and is starring in a new pilot about a breakfast TV host for Channel 4, called Morning Has Broken.

Dom Joly to re-make Trigger Happy TV in America again

Dom Joly to re-make Trigger Happy TV in America again

Dom Joly is reportedly to attempt a second remake of Trigger Happy TV for American audiences.

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.

Holli Dempsey interview

Holli Dempsey interview

Holli Dempsey, who plays Vicky in Derek, talks about her role. Is she like her character in real life? Read

The John Dredge Show

The John Dredge Show

Series 3 of John Dredge's critically acclaimed surreal sketch show podcast is now here. Check it out. Listen

Roisin Conaty interview

Roisin Conaty interview

Roisin Conaty introduces GameFace, her Channel 4 sitcom pilot about a woman muddling through life. Read

Fancy Meeting You Here

Fancy Meeting You Here

A look at Fancy Meeting You Here, the roving comedy show in which stand-ups offer free museum tours. Read

TV Comedy Preview

TV Comedy Preview

New TV shows to look out for this week include Warren United, Derek, Trying Again and GameFace. Read

Josie Long podcast

Josie Long podcast

This week's episode of Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast has stories from guest Josie Long. Listen

Babylon series now filming

Babylon series now filming

Six episodes of Channel 4's police-based comedy drama Babylon are now being filmed in London. Read

Marcus Brigstocke interview

Marcus Brigstocke interview

A snapped heel, torn cruciate and broken relationship - 2014 has been turbulent for Marcus Brigstocke. Read

Chris Addison podcast

Chris Addison podcast

A podcast in which Chris Addison talks about his career, and how they made the new sitcom Trying Again. Listen

Jason Lewis interview

Jason Lewis interview

Jason Lewis introduces Sniggers With Attitude, the sketch show he has made for TV channel London Live. Read

Al Murray's new tour

Al Murray's new tour

Al Murray has announced a new Pub Landlord UK tour titled One Man, One Guvnor: 20 years at the lager top. Read

Underbelly Festival returns

Underbelly Festival returns

The Udderbelly Festival is back on London's Southbank until the 13th July. Lots of comedy on offer. Read