Dutch "Cheers" remake headed to SBS6
Dutch television channel SBS6 is going to remake the popular 80s television show Cheers.
It's been done before. RTL4 has been re-animating the old classics in the last few years. Dutch show Zeg 'ns AA (Say Aa) came back in 2008. Golden Girls in 2012. Even popular American show Everybody Loves Raymond was Dutch-ified into Iedereen is Gek op Jack.
It is a difficult venture, as 80s shows were great, in the 80s. But remakes are coming back into style. House of Cards is a mega-success venture from Netflix. Celblok H, Lowinski and Dokter Tinus also prove that the money isn't necessarily in the present, but also in the past.
Cheers belongs to the comedy genre. Remaking it to suit current audiences is a difficult task. Especially when the comedy in question was written for 80s audiences. But the Netherlands tried to break into it with a Dutch version of Roseanne. The reviews were moderate, the viewing figures fickle; which means a season two is a possibility, but nothing much more.
RTL4-competitor SBS6 announced on Wednesday that a remake of Cheers is in the cards. "Bar Gezellig", is what it will be named. It will be a remake of the comedy that produced 237 episodes between 1982 and 1993. The NCRV had a lot of success with the show in the Netherlands at the time. It is still considered an American Classic.
The Dutch version will also center around a bar, SBS announces, where "everyday experiences of the visitors are shared with each other." Bastiaan Ragas will play Barry Konings, "a notorious skirt-chaser and also ex-pro-footballer." In Cheers, the owner was Sam Malone, played by Ted Danson, who received worldwide fame for the role.
SBS is daring it, but renewed success is not guaranteed. The channel is pinning its hopes experiences it is currently having with other remakes: Dokter Tinus (from the British Doc Martin), celblok H (Australian) and Danny Lowinski (German). These shows are raking in surprising viewing figures. SBS6 is hoping that Bar Gezellig will be as successful, but this won't be easy.
American remake-attempts have got a long list of failures. American channels in the last few years have rooted around in the 70s, 80s and 90s for shows. Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place and even Beauty & The Beast, Knightrider, Charlie's Angels, hawaii Five-O and Dallas have all come back, but none of them equally successful. Some have had their plug pulled, while others are still going strong.