Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name… only they pronounce it with an Irish accent.
The Irish Film and Television Network recently announced that casting is underway on an Irish language version of Cheers, the classic NBC sitcom set in a Boston bar. Dublin-based production company Sideline is behind the Emerald Isle reboot.
“I know some people think it’s crazy,” Sideline creative director Billy McGrath told IFTN, “but Sideline is now focused on both scripted and non-scripted formats. Is re-producing Cheers any different than us producing a version of Mastermind, Take Me Out or The Great British Bake Off for Irish viewers?” If we had a clue what any of those things were, we’d certainly have an opinion!
The new show, tentatively titled Teach Seán, would air on Ireland’s TG4 and features a main character who, like Sam Malone, is a bar owner, a retired athlete and a recovering alcoholic. Except because it’s set in Ireland, the barman is a “former hurling star” rather than an ex-baseball player. (Presumably, that means this kind of hurling, not the kind you’d associate with an alcoholic.) Details about other characters are sparse, but we can assume that Diane will be a Yeats scholar, Norm’s never-seen wife will be named Siobhan, and Carla will be pretty much the same, except with a crazy Irish family instead of a crazy Italian family.
At least Sideline got the rights for Cheers before going ahead with its reboot. Earlier this year, the Chinese sitcom Ipartment got in hot water for allegedly lifting scenes wholesale from hit American sitcoms like How I Met Your Mother and, especially, Friends — the love story between poor little rich girl Wanyu, who works in fashion and left home to avoid being trapped in a loveless marriage, and nerdy engineer Zhanbo, whose sister is also a character on the show, seems particularly suspect.