The producers of The Only Way is Essex has revealed talks are underway over a possible American remake of the hit ITV2 show.
The scripted-reality series has so far aired four seasons on ITV2 and has made house-hold names of its ‘stars’ such as Amy Childs and Mark Wright since it launched in October 2010. TOWIE, as it is also known, has been widely criticised for its portrayal of Essex and for “dumbing down” television but it has proven a huge hit for ITV2 drawing some of the digital channel’s biggest audiences.
Tony Wood, of Lime Pictures who produce TOWIE, has revealed that a remake based in America is ‘actively in discussion’. The idea of a scripted reality show comes from America where shows such as Jersey Shore and the Real Housewives of New York City are huge hits and have also made house-hold names of their stars. They have also spawned various spin-offs and similarly themed shows. Jersey Shore has essentially been remade for MTV in the UK in the form of Geordie Shore.
However, the proposed remakes are not just limited to America. Wood is quoted by the BBC as revealing that other countries such as Australia and Germany are under consideration too. ‘There are a number of territories that are interested in doing their own versions’ the BBC quotes the producer as saying. ‘We wanted an underground awareness of it simply because we would rather produce a new version of the show in America. And so we’re talking about two different versions at the moment, which could co-exist….We’re currently looking at Texas and Florida.’
The recent fourth series of TOWIE was criticised by some for being boring and “predictable”. Key cast members such as Amy Childs, Mark Wright, Kirk Norcross and Harry Derbidge had all quit the series by the time the fourth season aired on ITV2 which introduced audiences to several new cast members.