BBCW offers 'Butterflies' to US market

Friday, October 2 2009, 13:26 BST

By Andrew Laughlin,

BBC Worldwide is looking to pitch classic sitcoms Butterflies and Three Up, Two Down to the US market, according to The Guardian.

Despite the fact that both shows have not been on British TV screens for over 20 years, the BBC's commercial arm hopes that American broadcasters will pick them up.

Worldwide's production operation in Los Angeles, which is run by former BBC controller of fiction Jane Tranter, is currently discussing both properties with relevant parties.

Aired between 1978 and 1983, Carla Lane's Butterflies focused on the bittersweet lives of the Parkinson family, played by Wendy Craig, Geoffrey Palmer and a young Nicholas Lyndhurst.

Starring Michael Elphick and Angela Thorne, Three Up, Two Down was about a young couple who rent their basement out to their respective in-laws, which enables a romance to develop. It aired between 1985 and 1989.

Worldwide believes that the both comedies have the potential to appeal to US audiences. It also has high hopes for detective drama Jonathan Creek, which starred Alan Davies.

According to sources, Jonathan Creek writer David Renwick is on board to create storylines for a US version of the series if a broadcaster firms up its interest.

A BBC Worldwide Productions spokeswoman said: "As a production business, we are in active discussions with network partners over a wide variety of titles and projects. We are, at this time however, unable to confirm anything specific."

Last week, it emerged that ABC intends to remake comedy series Gavin & Stacey for American audiences, but without the help of writers James Corden and Ruth Jones.

British shows The Office, Absolutely Fabulous and Life on Mars have all previously been remade for American audiences.