After last week’s Earth-shattering, spoiler-alerts-be-damned episode of Succession, it’s somewhat surprising that a whole host of Jesse Armstrong projects have yet to be announced. But alas, we’ve heard nothing of a Fresh Meat revival this year, nor about more of The Thick Of It or Black Mirror. Nevertheless, one Jesse Armstrong project will never die, for it has never come to fruition: The American remake of Peep Show.
Armstrong and co-writer Sam Bain’s all-time great sitcom about two very different types of awful men, played by David Mitchell and Robert Webb, continues to amass a healthy cult following despite Webb’s disappointing descent into reactionary transphobia. Produced for FX, the new pilot won’t have such a problem because it won’t star Webb. Instead, Variety announced today the pilot would star Emmy-nominee Minnie Driver and How To Make Love To A Black Woman’s Amandla Jahava.
However, this pilot will have a different dynamic than the original series. In FX’s Peep Show, Jahava will play Driver’s “long-suffering assistant.” Of course, Channel 4’s Peep Show followed two long-time friends who remain loyal because they share an apartment and have been El Dude Brothers since their days at uni.
FX’s latest marks the third attempt at an American version. Between 2003 and 2015, Channel 4 aired nine seasons of Peep Show, and America’s been trying to remake it ever since. The first stab occurred in the wake of the success of the state-side version of The Office in 2005. That year, Johnny Galecki starred as Mark in an American pilot of the series directed by sitcom veteran Andy Ackerman. A few short years later, in 2007, fellow Curb Your Enthusiasm director Robert Weide took a second crack at a pilot for Spike. It would be the last the world would hear of an American Peep Show for 12 years, marking the single darkest period of American history.
Thankfully, in 2019, FX announced the development of a female-led version of the show, which is now apparently, about “an emotionally unstable tech entrepreneur” and her frustrated assistant. While it doesn’t sound like Peep Show, this is the closest we’ve come to the end of our national shortage of Peep Show remakes, so pour your mother a massive drink, turn on Ratatouille, and crack open Pictionary. Merry Chris-Mark, everyone.