Only Fools and Horses gets US remake

Gwyneth Strong, Nicholas Lyndhurst, David Jason and Tessa Peake-Jones in Only Fools And Horses The long-running sitcom focused on the Trotters of Peckham's 'Nelson Mandela House'

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Classic TV sitcom Only Fools and Horses is to be remade for a US audience.

The ABC network is to make a pilot US version of the British show, which starred David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst and ran from 1981 to 2003.

The script will be penned by Scrubs writers Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley.

ABC said it would follow the same formula of two brothers who "concoct outrageous, morally questionable get-rich-quick schemes in their quest to become millionaires".

If the pilot is picked up for a full series, it will be broadcast in the US later this year.

The original show came top of a poll to find the UK's greatest ever sitcom in 2004.

Its 1996 Christmas special was seen by more than 24 million people, making it one of the most-watched programmes in the history of British TV.

It also spawned two spin-offs - The Green Green Grass and Rock & Chips - before the show's writer and creator, John Sullivan, died last April aged 64.

Over the years, the programme has been sold and re-dubbed in dozens of countries.

There have also been international remakes, including Wat Schuift't? in The Netherlands and Brat Bratu in Slovenia, where Del Boy's three-wheel Reliant Robin car became a camper van.

UK sitcoms have a chequered history in the States.

One success story is the US version of Ricky Gervais' The Office, which has run for eight series, with Steve Carell and James Spader in the lead role.

But others, including American versions of Absolutely Fabulous, Fawlty Towers, Men Behaving Badly and Coupling, failed to take off.

Another UK comedy currently receiving a US makeover is political satire The Thick of It, which will be appearing as Veep on the HBO channel from April.

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