American television has a huge reach, with shows such as Game of Thrones, The Simpsons, Modern Family and Scandal finding large audiences in countries throughout the world. But it’s a two-way street: For years, enterprising U.S. producers have adapted popular television shows from around the world for American audiences.
Here are four popular U.S. shows and the counterparts from which they were adapted.
House of Cards (U.S. version & U.K. version)
The 1990 British series House of Cards followed the conniving ascent to prime minister of parliamentarian Francis Urquhart (Ian Richardson). In 2013, the U.S. version transplanted the action to Washington, where power-hungry Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) would do anything to get closer to the presidency.
Homeland (U.S.) and Hatufim (Israel)
In Israel’s Hatufim — shown in other English-speaking countries as Prisoners of War — two Israeli soldiers return home after 17 years in captivity with emotional scars and undisclosed secrets. Hatufim was the basis for Homeland, in which a CIA agent investigates a Marine sergeant who is rescued during a raid on a terrorist compound after a decade of captivity.
The Killing (U.S.) and Forbrydelsen (Denmark)
The Danish police drama Forbrydelsen centered on detective inspector Sarah Lund and her investigation of a young woman’s murder. The American version, The Killing, moved the action to Seattle, where homicide detectives Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder’s first case together is the disappearance of teenager Rosie Larsen.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (U.S.) and Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger (Japan)
Many younger Americans grew up with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, first as an afternoon television show, which led to popular action figures and two feature films. The television show was based on Japan’s Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger, about five warriors from an ancient civilization of dinosaurs.