Popular British Sitcom Comes to U.S., Maybe Minus Jews
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Popular British Sitcom Comes to U.S., Maybe Minus Jews

CBS wants to bring "Friday Night Dinner" to America, but the Goodman family may no longer be Jewish.

What’s Friday Night Dinner without Jews?

It's CBS that's asking the question. Friday Night Dinner, the British sitcom featuring the wacky Jewish Goodman family, might be moving to American TV. The show was so popular in Britain it was renewed for a third season. The catch: CBS might cut the show’s Jewish flavor.

Beyond the show's ethnicity, always a sticky wicket, the show has other challenges to contend with. NBC, in conjunction with producer Greg Daniels, attempted its own adaptation in 2011. Praised for his success with The Office — also originally a British program — and Parks and Recreation, Daniels seemed to have the touch NBC needed for a hit adaptation.

But American critics had a pareve response to his effort, which didn't air past the first pilot. According to thefutoncritic.com, it was deemed “bizarre,” then condemned because it was “Just. Not. Funny.”

Across the pond, the Jewish eccentricity of the original clearly works: the third season premiered to an audience of almost three million viewers.

Will our Friday Night Dinner feature a weekly challah? Stay tuned …

editor@jewishweek.org

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