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Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Live-Action TV

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    Real Life Examples 
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus and Monty Python's films are very popular in the United States, usually just as if not more so than in their home country of the United Kingdom. Hilarious in Hindsight is that, back then, nobody believed that it would strike a chord in the USA, because the comedy was so weird, unusual and full of British references that hardly make any sense in other countries. However, its popularity in the U.S.A. is more based on the sheer bizarreness and silliness than the intellectualism. You notice time and time again when Monty Python is referenced in American popular culture or discussed by American fans they talk fondly about the silliness and less about its intellectual, cultural or historical references. Comedian Robin Williams once explained Monty Python's popularity in the U.S.A.: "It basically comes down to men in drag. Any man in a dress is remotely funny in America, and "Monty Python" features a lot of these." John Cleese credited Terry Gilliam for cracking the American market: "Terry introduced two things in Monty Python all Americans love: tits and violence."
  • Friends:
    • Broadcasting U.S.-friendly newscasts into Saudi Arabia has been unsuccessful in dissuading anti-Americanism there. Broadcasting Friends, on the other hand, proved quite helpful. This is ironic, considering the ensemble tend to fornicate regularly and wear revealing clothes.
    • Gunther was popular abroad despite being only a minor character.
      • James Michael Tyler (Gunther) was so popular in Dubai that he got offered to be the spokesman for a local coffee brand but NBC botched the deal (they wanted more money).
    • Even years after its ending, UK channels such as E4 still show two rerun episodes of Friends several times a day. It got to the point that all E4 showed during one particular summer was live Big Brother and reruns of Friends. Since the channel lost the rights to both in 2011, its content has become more varied and seemingly attracts fewer viewers. Meanwhile, Comedy Central continues to run the show endlessly.
    • As of 2013, Friends and Seinfeld are the two most rerun shows on the Israeli broadcast networks, in terms of cumulative airtime over the past 45 years (i.e. since the first Israeli television broadcasts). Each of them easily outranks any other foreign or local show in terms of total rerun airtime. Geeking out over "Friends" is probably the one thing an Israeli and Arab could bond over (Friends is popular all over the Middle East).
    • It was very popular in the Czech Republic among the young and the older when it first aired in The Nineties, and in The New Tens, chances are that one of the TV channels is airing its reruns.
    • The show also has continued popularity in India.
    • One of the few mainstream sitcoms that gained a lasting popularity with the general audiences of Hungary.
  • American talk-show host Conan O'Brien was so popular in Finland, allegedly due to a passing resemblance to the (female) Finnish president, he toured there to huge crowds. Perhaps it is because he had almost the same haircut as Aki Kaurismaki's Leningrad Cowboys when they toured the US. He often refers to Finns in his jokes. The president thing was made up by Conan himself. Why did he start to make these jokes? A Message Board conspiracy spammed him with postcards to get Finland featured in Conan O'Brien Hates My Homeland and the quantity of mail caught his attention. He was also the only American talk-show host on Finnish TV with any significant amount of following. The Finnish somehow claim they don't know who Jay Leno or David Letterman are, and they don't care.
  • Kamen Riders:
    • Kamen Rider Blade: The show is ridiculously popular in Thailand, gaining more viewers and selling more toys over there than it ever did in Japan. It is so popular, a Thai channel even made an after-school special featuring Kamen Rider Blade. In terms of quality, however, it never stood a chance against the original.
    • Kamen Rider Black was very popular in the Philippines; many a young person's face will light up at the mention of Kuya Robert. Kuya is a Filipino word for a big brother figure and Robert was Dub Name Change for the protagonist Kotaro Minami.
    • Kamen Rider Black was the Gateway Series in Indonesia. Black, there known as Ksatria Baja Hitam (Black Iron Knight), is considered the essential Rider, more so than the original.
    • Kamen Rider Black was well liked in Brazil. Alas, Black and its sequel Kamen Rider Black RX were the only installments of the entire Rider franchise (not counting the US adaptations) that aired there.
  • The 1960s American sitcom Bewitched was popular in Japan. The Magical Girl genre may have arisen from it. And it still airs up to this day on TV Tokyo, right after My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic!
  • Mexican comedian Chespirito's El Chavo del ocho:
    • The show is absurdly popular in Brazil, nearly 30 years after its run in Mexico ended. Reruns of Chaves are played on a particular TV channel before the afternoon's soap operas, and they often outdo the soapies in terms of audience.
    • It's very popular in Argentina. There was a time that it could be seen on three TV stations at the same time.
    • The show has an everlasting impact in popular culture in Colombia. The show is a staple of morning TV, and the actors are revered as VIPs, homaged frequently and even invited to ertain cultural forums and the like.
    • The Animated Adaptation has a small following of American fans, mostly teenagers.
  • Everybody Hates Chris is an absurdly popular show in Brazil. Despite its small North American success, it has a cult following among Brazilian youngsters, with some quotes from the show being normally heard during everyday conversations. The show is aired virtually every day, with 9 to 12 episodes in sequence. All the episodes have been aired at least twice.
  • Mexican Soap Operas, known as "telenovelas":
    • They make up most of the telenovelas shown in Latin America and the United States, despite often being extremely regional in their tropes, premises and conventions. (Or maybe because of that)
    • They're also popular in the Balkans and the ex-USSR. A reporter for Televisa once reported that during the Balkan wars, soldiers from both sides stopped fighting just to watch telenovelas, and likewise, Georgian and Abkhazian troops made informal ceasefires to watch soap operas.
    • In Russia, the telenovela "Los Ricos También Lloran" caused such furore that workers skipped work so they could watch about the female protagonist's pains; and the actress that played her - Verónica Castro - became so popular that when she visited Russia, the people crowded the streets just to get a glimpse of her.
    • They're also wildly popular in some African countries. For example, in Niger, Daniela is currently (2013) the most popular series. Kenya also loves shows like En nombre del amor.
  • Knight Rider and The A-Team: The over-the-top dubbing used for the shows in Brazil has given them quite a reputation as unintentional comedies. To such a degree that in Portugal, the Brazilian dubs that aired only once on one channel about 15 years ago are still regularly quoted for laughs. Several people were very disappointed when modern reruns of the show were subtitled instead.
  • The TV show Monkey (Sayuki in its native Japan) was massively popular in Australia for years under the name "Monkey Magic." Hey, Aunty should bring it back.
  • Hogan's Heroes is popular in Germany due to massive Woolseyism in its treatment of the German characters, giving them different regional accents and adding various other cultural references which were played for comedy.
  • The King of Queens and Kevin James: The King of Queens is a wildly popular sitcom in Germany. It's running several times a day for years now and still manages to catch new viewers. It's safe to say that it's the most successful U.S. sitcom in Germany. The main actor of the series, Kevin James, gets invited to prime-time talk shows and draws a huge crowd to the cinema when he's in a movie. His movie (Zookeeper) even has a cameo of - no, not Hasselhoff, but Thomas Gottschalk, one of Germany's most famous show hosts.
  • Starsky & Hutch:
    • It is very popular in France. The reason: a better dub.
    • Starsky and Hutch was definitely big in America, but it was massive in Britain. BBC1 ran the series well into the 1980s (and it was one of the few imported series to top the ratings), David Soul made more visits to the upper reaches of the pop charts than at home (including having two #1s), Channel 4 had a night devoted to the series in 1999 (including running the pilot and the never-before-shown-in-Britain episode "The Fix" - omitted because of its depiction of heroin use), and the show regularly turns up on cable channels.
  • The Persuaders!:
    • It's popular in France as it has an excellent dub.
    • In the early 1970s, its subtitled version was immensely popular in Sweden, so the producers let one episode partly take place in Sweden (episode 19). But they failed to do their research properly, making it odd to watch for the Swedes. Roger Moore had become a great TV star in Sweden some years previously thanks to The Saint, which may explain the success of The Persuaders.
  • Roger Moore: His popularity from The Saint and The Persuaders is also the reason that people in Sweden often see him as the greatest Bond. The Man with the Golden Gun and Octopussy are often considered to be some of the lesser films in the series but remain famous in Sweden since both of them feature two Swedes. Maud Adams was one and starred in both.
  • The American TV series JAG was pitched by Donald P. Bellisario to the networks as Top Gun meets A Few Good Men. It was going to be scrapped after only one season due to poor ratings in the United States on NBC, but when Paramount found that JAG was a huge hit overseas, including Australia, Benelux, France, Germany, Hungary, Scandinavia, and South Africa, CBS was convinced that it should be Uncanceled.
  • Santa Barbara:
    • It is a somewhat obscure soap now in America, but was extremely popular in Russia.
    • In Croatia, it reigned over the airwaves in the early 1990s, and despite the flood of telenovelas and a thriving domestic TV industry, is still often thought of as the archetypal Soap.
    • In France, Santa Barbara was at least as famous as Dallas.
    • In South Africa, Santa Barbara and The Young and the Restless were the afternoon equivalents in popularity of Dallas in the late 1980s to mid 1990s.
  • American Soaps in South Africa:
    • The Bold & the Beautiful and Days of Our Lives are the most popular American soapies broadcast in South Africa. Both have been on air for over 25 years in South Africa. The respective casts visit the country often, and some have made guest appearances on local shows.
    • American soapies which have failed to find an audience in SA include All My Children, Passions, and General Hospital.
  • Game Shows:
    • Many relatively short-lived American game shows have had very successful British versions. Most notably Blockbusters, Catch Phrase, Strike It Lucky (adaptation of the short-lived American show Strike It Rich) and Play Your Cards Right (adaptation of Card Sharks). Their adaptations of Gambit, Now You See It, The Cross Wits, Child's Play and Win Lose Or Draw far outlasted their American counterparts. Note, however, that Card Sharks and Win, Lose or Draw were hardly failures in the US (the former was revived twice), and even the American Blockbusters is a bit of a Cult Classic. Also, the American Gambit lasted four years, had a one-year revival, and was revived again in 2008-11 as Catch 21.
    • Going For Gold has faded from British TV and the revival is, according to its trope page, not that popular. The French version is here to stay, still huge.
    • Catch Phrase was launched in America in September 1985 and cancelled the following January. The British version, Catchphrase, ran for 18 series and got a spinoff, as well as a Radio 1 sort-of revival.
  • Supernatural:
    • It is popular in Australia. It may have something to do with the fact that the show uses a lot of classic rock in its soundtrack, including AC/DC, the biggest band to come out of Australia—the members of AC/DC watch and enjoy the show, apparently.
    • It's quite popular in Japan, as it got its own anime there. The producers (Madhouse) aren't exactly no-names either, and neither are some guest-voice actors, known from e.g. Gackt.
  • Dinner for One, a British sketch:
    • This 18-minute sketch is a staple in every German New Year's celebration, aired every year since 1963 by multiple stations and the most frequently repeated TV programme ever, always shown in the original English without subtitles. But not once on British television.
    • It is very popular in Norway, where it airs every December 23 as "Grevinnen og Hovmesteren" ("The Countess and the Butler").
    • In Sweden it has aired every New Year's Eve (2004 excepted) since 1976.
    • In Denmark it also airs every New Year's Eve at midnight and the Danish comedian Casper Christensen even wrote and acted as Miss Sophie in a parody called "The 80th Birthday" ("80-års fødselsdagen").
    • It's very popular in Finland. The sketch is broadcast every New Year.
  • Tropical Heat, being one of the few foreign series that aired in Serbia during the 90's, has achieved cult status there. A Serbian band has even made a song about Nick Slaughter, the main character of the show]. There was a national movement to establish Nick Slaughter (the protagonist) as a symbolic national hero. Apparently no one associated with the show had any idea of its popularity until 2008 when Rob Stewart accidentally found a facebook group in honour of his character.
  • Super Sentai series:
    • Choudenshi Bioman :While it's just another Super Sentai series in Japan, it is extremely popular in France. One kids' show host even made a cameo appearance in Choujuu Sentai Liveman. It's also dearly loved in the Phillipines. Other sentai popular in the Philippines are Hikari Sentai Maskman and Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman.
    • Two series were really liked in Brazil, Changeman and Flashman.
    • The Gateway Series of Sentai in Indonesia Goggle Five remains well loved there, being considered 'Indonesia's essential Sentai'.
    • Gekiranger, like most of the more "experimental" seasons of Super Sentai, was not very successful in Japan. However it was very successful in Korea and is highly regarded among most Western Sentai fans.
  • Power Rangers:
    • Disney continued to produce episodes through 2009 because Jetix Europe needed them to do so, despite being Screwed by the Network. Power Rangers RPM would not have happened if PR weren't so popular in Germany. If Saban listened exclusively to the German fanbase's demands after reclaiming PR, The Hoff would have to star.
    • Power Rangers is also hugely popular in Japan with several seasons, with a few like Lost Galaxy even out-performing the original.
  • Kamen Rider Dragon Knight was critically well-received, but it suffered low ratings for its entire run. In Japan, however, the show was a monumental smash (and regarded as much better than Kamen Rider Ryuki) with merchandise created solely for Dragon Knight.
  • Most Toku shows:
    • Despite not airing in many countries outside Asia, Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, and to a much lesser extent Metal Heroes and other Japanese tokusatsu shows, have a somewhat moderate if underground cult following in the States as well as elsewhere abroad, with fans relying on fan subbing groups to subtitle the show in other languages.
    • Toei is likely aware of this as Bandai's Tamashii Nations' USA Branch partner, Bluefin (not Bandai America, sadly), is starting to release their Super Robot Chogokin line based on the amount being imported by third party merchants.
    • Tamashii is also starting to release their SH Figuarts line. Initially they imported Shinken Red and Shinken Gold to Toy's R US in the states (Through Bandai America); this is likely also based on the popularity of them being imported as well. In fact Bluefin released Red Hawk and Black Condor from Choujin Sentai Jetman in the States as well despite Jetman not having a Power Rangers counterpart.
    • It's also been revealed that Figuarts based on Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger a.k.a. Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers will be released in both Japan and the US in 2013 to commemorate Power Rangers' 20th anniversary.
    • Toei doesn't believe there is enough interest at the moment to start importing either subbed or dubbed DVDs and Shout Factory (who handles most of the DVD distribution for Power Rangers) revealed they have no plan to release any Super Sentai shows on DVD.
      • In 2014 Shout Factory announced plans to release subbed D Vds of Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger
      • In September 2013 Toei announced Toei Japan Channel a paid web service that would operate in The US. airing several Toei Channels. English Subs were planned at some point in the future, but the service was quickly canceled 2 months later.
  • You Can't Do That on Television was at its peak of popularity in the United States from about 1984 to 1987; for much of that time it was actually off the air in Canada, having been cancelled by CTV in 1984. New episodes were produced for Nickelodeon after that, which were unseen in Canada until YTV was created in the late '80s.
  • When reruns of American Gladiators were run in Great Britain, the Brits liked it so much they made their own and their Gladiators' version impressed the original's producers enough that they incorporated many of their ideas into the original (even more in the Revival.)
  • Educational show Beakmans World was not quite as successful as similarly themed Bill Nye the Science Guy in the US. However, in Brazil and Mexico, Beakman was a hit, while Nye was completely ignored.
  • Attempts at remaking the short-lived UK television series Britain's Worst Driver for other countries hasn't ended well... with the sole exception of Canada's Worst Driver, which is not only still running after ten seasons but has also managed to spawn two spinoff shows: Don't Drive Here and Canada's Worst Handyman.
  • Father Ted is popular enough in the United Kingdom, but an absolute monster hit in Ireland where is endlessly re-run even a decade after it finished, occupying roughly the equivalent spot that Only Fools and Horses has in Britain. After all, it was created by Irish writers, starred an Irish cast and was actually set in Ireland. On the other hand, it was specifically created for British audiences so its popularity in Ireland wasn't intended, or at least wasn't the main aim.
  • Australian soap operas like Neighbours are very popular in the United Kingdom. There was a period in the late 1980s/early 1990s where the viewing figures for Neighbours were bigger than the population of Australia (it has the honour of being the last imported series to date to top the UK ratings - and the only Australian show ever to do so). At one point there was a (probably false) rumour in the UK that the only reason Grundy and Ten were still making the series was that The BBC were still buying it.
  • Metal Heroes series:
    • In Brazil, the show was incredibly popular during 1980s/early 1990s. Any Brazilian who was a kid at that time would know about Jaspion or Jiraia. It's said it was their popularity that allowed the Anime Invasion of mid-1990s. Proving Brazil is a toku heaven, in the 1960s one of the first in the genre, National Kid (named after the sponsor, a brand of electronics — nowadays known as Panasonic) became popular in the country, and is still fondly remembered.
    • The Philippines loved Space Sheriff Shaider, to the point a sequel was made for the country, but ended up more of a sci-fi telenovela than a Metal Heroes show. The 1st in the series, Space Sheriff Gavan, was secondly remembered under the title Sky Ranger Gavin.
    • Space Sheriff Gavan is also quite popular in Indonesia, but all they have left nowadays is the phrase segede Gaban (lit. 'As big as Gavan', referencing the fact that the series featured humongous mecha).
  • If you read Swedish media, you are excused if you initially thought that Alexander Skarsgard was the star of True Blood, since every article either called it "Alexander Skarsgard's new show" or commented on how Stellan Skarsgard's (one of Sweden's few international mega-stars) son has struck it big time.
  • NCIS: Los Angeles is popular in Portugal, and nearly every news article about the show, as well as nearly all ads and promos, focus nearly exclusively on Daniela Ruah.
  • ALF:
    • The sitcom has been very popular in Ukraine since the 1990s.
    • It was very popular in Argentina and Mexico, where Alf's Catch Phrase (¡NO HAY PROBLEMA!) is still in vogue.
    • In Germany, Alf's iconic voice actor recorded a music album in character ("Tommi Piper singt Alf"). Almost all episodes were turned into audio plays, and there were several audio plays with original stories. The Made-for-TV Movie that followed the series (Project Alf) was released to theaters.
  • Scrubs:
    • As John C. McGinley can attest, Scrubs is far more popular in Ireland than America. In Ireland it's regular for Radio DJs to mention it, friends to mention it as their favourite sitcom, and at a time, for people with digital TV it was common for a Scrubs episode to play on more than one station at the same time. It helped that Scrubs got an extremely favourable timeslot (9 p.m. on Mondays, right in the middle of RTÉ Two's comedy night).
    • It's ridiculously popular in Australia.
    • The show is a hit in the United Kingdom.
  • Stor I Japan, translated as Big in Japan, was a Swedish one-season reality show which put the Big In Japan phenomenon to the test, by sending two forgotten Swedish ex-celebrities to Tokyo for a month, with the mission to acquire nation-wide TV airing time, a record contract, live performance gigs and a fan base. The result? Success at every point.
  • While The Goodies were never repeated on the BBC after the series ended, simply because the BBC's main controller of the eighties didn't like them, the ABC in Australia repeated them extensively throughout the 1980s and 1990s, giving them a continuous Australian fan base since the show originally aired. Thanks to digital television, they're still going.
  • According to the accompanying DVD booklet, the short-lived Fox show Profit was apparently a much bigger hit in France.
  • Crocodile Hunter, while inexplicably popular in the United States and England, is almost universally reviled in its native Australia as being exactly the image of Australians that they are working hard to dispel. Ya sure ya got the right Crocodile there, mate? And the show's popularity is not at all inexplicable: it's due to the fact that he, unlike many other hosts of wildlife documentaries, actually gets visibly excited about what he's doing. It makes the show a lot more endurable than, say, a David Attenborough documentary.
  • New Zealand's The Tribe was hugely popular in Sweden, to the point where school kids painted their faces with the tribal face markings that featured in the show.
  • South Korea's historical/fantasy drama Jumong was very successful in its home country, reaching ratings of 50% for its final episodes. However, in Iran for some strange reason, it was seen by 70% of the population. One Iranian teenager reportedly attempted suicide when he couldn't meet an actress from that series and there is a documentary being made regarding the negative effects of the show on the Iranian society. Two years prior, Jewel in the Palace was dubbed and aired, and turned out to be a huge hit after less than 10 episodes. The popularity of Korean dramas in Iran dates back to the early 80s (60s in Iranian Calendar), when they only could afford to purchase South Korean shows. While most of those shows faded away soon after their humble reruns, airing a South Korean show was both nostalgic and interesting for adults, leading to their popularity amongst younger people.
  • Married... with Children:
    • The show is still popular in Germany and Eastern Europe, a decade after it finished. For several years, people in Germany hosted "Bundy parties," where guests dressed up as characters from the show.
    • Poland had a spinoff version that was well received.
    • Argentina has its own version of the show running several years.
    • It was very popular in Hungary. The Hungarian remake, however, bombed no matter how popular the original was in the country.
    • The British version was not very successful. Yes, they do remakes in the United Kingdom as well, less often than in America but usually with the same result.
  • Most Americans today are unfamiliar with The Phil Silvers Show, or remember it only vaguely. It's still extremely popular in the United Kingdom, thanks to reruns being constantly broadcast on the BBC. In fact, it is even considered one of the top few classic sitcom imports there. Some attribute this to the British affection for the "loveable rogue" archetype, which Bilko fits to a tee.
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air:
    • Without a shadow of a doubt, it is the most popular American sitcom in Puerto Rico. It has gotten regular reruns since the 90s, and it contributed to Will Smith being one of the absolute most beloved celebrities for Puertoricans. If he ever visited Puerto Rico, he'd get mobbed.
    • It is wildly popular in the United Kingdom, though it's still popular in the United States, too.
    • It's also the most popular series in Guantanamo Bay Prison!
  • The British TV standby University Challenge is a direct borrowing from the U.S. General Electric College Bowl series. The American one disappeared from TV long ago, while the British version remains a national icon.
  • According to this Christian Science Monitor article, American TV dramas are very popular in Japan, but not in America itself. Partly because American shows tend to be about characters who aren't students or salary men.
  • American comedian and Saturday Night Live alum Rich Hall has, for some reason, always been infinitely more popular in the United Kingdom, even before turning up on QI, to the point that he now lives in London.
  • In the 1960s series The Green Hornet, Bruce Lee played the role of Kato, and was so popular in Hong Kong, the show was called "The Kato Show", which eventually led to Bruce Lee becoming a movie star in Asia before the United States.
  • The Benny Hill Show:
    • Benny Hill has been much more popular elsewhere than in his native Britain, where the non-PC nature of Hill's humor is poorly tolerated.
    • It's very popular with the French audience.
    • The Americans must like the show a lot, since it still keeps receiving Shout Outs in American shows all the time.
    • Both the guy and his show were wildly popular in Romania of The Eighties as well as in the early part of The Nineties. In an issue of Garth Ennis' Punisher, a British character asks an American character why this is the case.
  • The new series of Doctor Who regularly achieves ratings of over 7 million in South Korea (comparable with its UK ratings). Series 4 won an award for 'Most Popular Foreign Drama', collected by former producer Phil Collinson.
  • Spanish family sitcom Los Serrano was an unlikely hit in Finland. The show originally aired for one season during the summer, and was supposed to be dropped by Autumn, but come August, the huge demand for more made the network run the series from the beginning.
  • For more or less obvious reasons, Seinfeld is extremely popular in Israel. When the show's finale was aired in the United States, it was simultaneously aired in Israel with no subtitles at approximately 6 a.m. due to the time difference, a rare honor for any entertainment show that was previously reserved for world-scale events like the Olympics or the Oscars. Since the early 1990s up until around 2005, reruns of the show had been airing daily on at least one channel. You can even buy Seinfeld-related yarmulkes there. And they sell like hotcakes. As of 2013, Seinfeld and Friends are the two most re-run shows on the Israeli broadcast networks, in terms of cumulative airtime over the past 45 years (i.e. since the first Israeli television broadcasts). Each of them easily outranks (by a wide margin) any other foreign or local show in terms of total rerun airtime.
  • The West Wing: It is almost more popular in Britain than in the United States and there was a noticeable spike in the uptake of digital TV when The West Wing moved from terrestrial broadcasting (the series was actually first shown on Sky1 before moving to Channel Four). While the States obviously loved the show enough to give it 19 Emmys, Britain appears to consider it one of the greatest American exports of all time, as mentioned in John O'Farrell's An Utterly Impartial History of Britain:
    John O'Farrell: However, the Americans would go on to produce The Simpsons and seven series of The West Wing, making it all worthwhile in the end.
    • Oh, and when an actual legislature used the tactic to prevent passage of a bill first posited in Season 6's "A Good Day," it wasn't Congress that did it, but Parliament at Westminster (the Tory Opposition used the tactic in order to force passage of their preferred version of the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006; they thought the Government version cut dangerously into free-speech protections).
    • It was also one of the most popularly pirated shows in China, of all places. Who knew that the minutia of the American democratic system would be interesting to the Chinese?
  • In China, Gossip Girl enjoys an immense following. While it's popular in its homeland America, the Chinese are absolutely crazy about this show, to the point they plan to make a Chinese remake version of the show. (The Mexicans beat them to a punch though in doing a foreign remake...)
  • In Spain, Kyle XY is a huge ratings winner. While the final season was overlooked in America, the Spanish religiously watched every last episode and threw more of a fit when its unsatisfying cliffhanger ending aired.
  • The BBC's Keeping Up Appearances:
    • In the Netherlands, it is still enjoying reruns with excellent ratings.
    • It's also fairly popular in the United States, mostly because various PBS stations (which are, aside from BBC America, the best source of BritComs in the States) have been showing reruns of it for quite some time. The result is that many American Anglophiles (even ones who enjoy shows like The Office, Father Ted, or Spaced) are quite fond of it, to the consternation of some British viewers.
  • Some vintage BritComs are still vastly popular in Poland, where they used to run on the third channel of public television, many years after they were shot. Examples include Keeping Up Appearances, Yes, Minister, Red Dwarf, Blackadder, The Fast Show, Open All Hours or Absolutely Fabulous.
  • According to this article, LOST is quite popular in Iran despite never actually having been released legally there.
  • The cause of the growth of basketball in Turkey can be attributed to reruns of The White Shadow.
  • A escrava Isaura ("The slave Isaura"):
    • This 1970s Brazilian soap opera, set in late 19th-century Imperial Brazil, was a huge success in Latin America.
    • It was an insane, unbelievable hit in parts of Eastern Europe. Legend says that at some point people from one country (which one it is varies in many rumors) were even saving money to buy Isaura's freedom.
    • In China, the series is basically synonymous with Brazil. Protagonist Lucélia Santos visited the country a few times, and won both a fan-voted award for Artist of the Year and was honored by the Chinese government.
  • The French viewers always loved German police series such as Inspector Derrick. All are stereotypically associated with old people due to their airing slots (between 1PM and 5PM).
  • Austrian cop show Inspector Rex is extremely popular in Australia. Its broadcaster, Australia's multilingual network SBS, has aired it at 7.30 p.m. on a Thursday since 1997. It still has reruns of the original as well as Rex In Rome. The spinoff featuring Stockinger also briefly ran. There was even a parody on an Aussie sketch show featuring one Detective Herring.
  • Small Wonder was once so popular in India that a copycat series was produced in the Hindi language with Indian actors. Compare that with America, who see the show as either a joke or the very reason why American TV is considered "the vast wasteland."
  • Sunset Beach was far more popular in Britain and Sweden than it was in the United States.
  • As of 2010, Big Brother is still popular in many countries despite being cancelled in the Netherlands (its country of origin) back in 2006. It is particularly popular in Britain, for some reason.
  • The Mole:
    • It was a Belgian concept that lasted for three years. The show had been very successful in Belgium, but the producers didn't want it to overstay its welcome. In the Netherlands, however, the show is still popular after 10 series, being nominated several times for the yearly audience award for the best program on Dutch television. In 2008, members of the broadcasting association that makes the show voted The Mole the best program the association has made in the last 50 years.
    • In the States, The Mole still has a cult fan base for its own version of the show (or at least the non-celebrity versions) despite being Put on a Bus for four years and finally being cancelled in 2008.
  • Turkish television series:
    • They are wildly popular in Middle Eastern countries. They are typically dubbed into Arabic. One such series is "Aşk-ı Memnu", a soap opera that plays continuously on a number of Jordanian channels.
    • A few of them are translated to Persian. They became more popular than Syrian and Lebanese TV Shows dubbed to Persian.

      Somehow, at some point in 2014 Turkish soap operas became extremely popular in Chile.
  • Degrassi is more popular in America than it is in its home country of Canada, leading to the American channel that hosts it, TeenNick, having influence in the production of the show.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • It is the number one comedy in Latin America, comparable to the love for House.
    • The Big Bang Theory is one of the most watched shows in Canada.
    • It's also extremely popular in China.
  • While David Lynch's primetime crime drama Twin Peaks is well-regarded as one of the greatest TV shows of all time in the USA, it's become something of a Cult Classic in recent years. However, the show was huge in Japan, spawning coffee commercials starring the shows cast, references in various Japanese media, and it even influenced the creation of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening! Later there was a cult classic based heavily upon it.
  • Are You Being Served?:
    • Although it was popular enough in Britain, it is well known as one of the most unexpectedly successful transatlantic transplants, being very popular in the United States.
    • It was popular in the state of New South Wales in Australia (The ONLY state!) because until quite recently, the biggest department store retailer in that state was called Grace Brothers.
  • Home and Away is so popular in Ireland that it's shown twice a day and has two omnibuses at the weekends. There are some people who actually get withdrawal symptoms if they miss any of them.
  • The Speculative Documentary The Future Is Wild is actually popular in Japan to the point that it has its own manga and a theme park was opened for a while in Japan.
  • Thanks to Generations, Turkey may be the only country in the world where Kelly Rutherford is as well known as her Gossip Girl castmates.
  • Days of Our Lives is huge in Barbados, even though the series began to be shown there more than a decade after its début.
  • America's Funniest Home Videos is based on a segment of the Japanese show Kato-chan Ken-chan Gokigen TV, which ran for six years. AFV has been running for over 20 years and counting.
  • The Australian series H2O: Just Add Water is a big hit in Europe, mostly the United Kingdom, and Central and Eastern Europe. in fact, the third season aired in the United Kingdom before Australia by a year!
  • Sky One in the United Kingdom treated Malcolm in the Middle much better than its American parent network, showing it just about every day in just before or in prime-time. It's still very well loved (although it's now on Five Star). It is also very popular in Mexico, still airing an hour and half a weekday. May have something with abusive yet genuine friends and family being no rarity in Mexico.
  • The original U.S. version of The Apprentice was a moderate hit in the United States, but the format has proven much more successful in Europe: both the British and Irish versions of the show have consistently brought in huge ratings and are proportionally far more talked about in the local media than the original is in the States.
  • iCarly is wildly popular in Australia, the United Kingdom and the Philippines, with huge amount of fans following it when aired in the country, and by Internet streaming or downloading when they air in the United States. If you join the iCarly fandom, you're as likely to encounter someone from these countries as you are someone from the USA or Canada.
  • The Canadian comedy series Just For Laughs is popular in Arabic countries.
  • My Babysitter's a Vampire is a Canadian series that is huge in America.
  • Merlin, a British show, is extremely popular in America.
  • The American anthology show Beyond Belief Fact Or Fiction is apparently (or at least was) fairly popular in Germany.
  • Street Hawk was launched in India in the late 1980s, and ultimately proved a big hit in the country. G.I. Joe Snake-eyes and Rapid Action Motorcycle toys were retooled and launched as a Street Hawk package, and several bike and bike tyre ads imitated elements of the show ("The Man...the machine...the tyre...MRF Nylogrip", night shots, black bikes, black suits). Knight Rider, when launched in the 1990s, was barely promoted and ultimately ended up as "a show like Street Hawk", and has never reached the popularity of Street Hawk in the late 1980s or early 1990s, despite being the longer-running and more successful show.
  • The Samurai: Ask any Australian who was a kid in the mid-1960s what his favorite TV program was; he will probably answer The Samurai.
  • Monkey: Ask any Australian who was a kid in the late 80s and early 90s what their favorite TV program was and they will answer Monkey Magic!
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 (El Misterio en el Espacio) was quite the rage with young children in Spain, to the extent that it aired on CLAN long after the US stopped broadcasting episodes. For those of you wondering how they dubbed the show, they used Spanish prints of the films and redubbed the dialogue of our theater-goers.
  • Lost in Space experienced huge popularity in Spain to the extent that The Robot's catch phrase "¡PELIGRO! ¡PELIGRO!" is still in vogue.
  • Many Brit Coms are very popular in Australia.
  • Famously, Baywatch was cancelled after one season by NBC due to poor ratings. However, when it was imported overseas, it became a massive success, which prompted Britain's LWT and other international channels to demand more episodes. It was the Hoff himself who helped to revive Baywatch. The show went on for several more seasons/series and it is estimated that over one billion people across the globe watched it at some point. Never underestimate the international language of Pamela Anderson running in a swimsuit.
  • The Nanny:
    • It is very popular in Germany and Austria, and the show has nearly always a weekly or even daily slot on some network.
    • It's well-liked in Argentina, and the Argentinians even have their own version.
    • Australia, too, as The Other Wiki points out.
  • In Tuscarawas County, Ohio, it's "so T-County" to always watch the latest episode of Jersey Shore when it premieres on television.
  • Pan Am came and went in the United States, but internationally, the pre-sale rights went extremely quickly and ratings were very strong. It probably helps that the show is about air travel.
  • During its first three seasons, Smallville enjoyed widespread mainstream popularity and acclaim at home in the United States; the ratings were the best in the entire history of The WB network, the show was referenced in several other shows, actress Kristin Kreuk became the face of Neutrogena's North American ad campaign, Michael Rosenbaum was getting hired to cameo in several movies, and in general the show's stars were frequently featured on TV Guide and other magazines. This three-year golden age culminated in the show achieving a syndication deal with ABC Family at the end of Season 3. And then during Season 4, the domestic ratings began to decline (the reasons why are the subject of much intra-fandom bickering, although most people agree that it probably was at least partially due to the "will they, won't they" Clana subplot boring people). By Season 5, the show had become a cult-level show. But in Latin America, the show remained a remarkable mainstream smash sensation up until the very end in Season 10.
  • The Eurovision Song Contest is popular in Australia, despite it not only not having a stake in the competition, but being on the other side of the planet from the nations competing. Australians have represented the UK and other nations in the contest on more than one occasion (Olivia Newton-John, Gina G, Jane Comerford), and SBS, Eurovision's Australian broadcaster, has their own commentary team for the event, but only after Terry Wogan retired, since his commentary was so insanely popular in Australia that both initial attempts to replace him and the British commentary team with local versions (in 2001 and '04) sparked howls of protest.
    • Became an Ascended Meme during the 2011 Junior Eurovision, where every entry got 12 points from Australia (complete with a message from a young Australian). Brought up again during the opening monologue of 2013, which featured a "live" shot of an Australian family staying up to watch the final: they were all asleep on the couch.
  • Downton Abbey has been a huge success in the United States, one which goes well beyond the usual niche market to which British Costume Dramas appeal. If PBS were counted as a broadcast network, it would be the #1 show in America.
  • British TV is adored by the Czechs. In general, Czechs love British dry and black humour and several shows have an extremely strong cult following. Although the audience tend to like similar stuff as other fans from other countries, and it can't be said that the series in question were unpopular among the British audience. Both original versions and dubs are appreciated and they're still shown in re-runs and bought on DVDs. Some of it is caused by the fact that English is a widely studied foreign language and English teachers (Anglophiles by default) inflict their favourite shows on kids at school. American shows have their fair share of dedicated fans as well, but the special love belongs to the British. Specific examples:
    • Monty Python's Flying Circus and their films are amazingly popular and frequently quoted. Monty Python's memes are as popular in the Czech Republic as anywhere else. Michael Palin, Eric Idle and John Cleese are especially admired. In 2012, John Cleese made a series of ads promoting the London Olympic Games, specifically aiming at the Czech audience. It was way too cool.
    • Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister. These shows were so popular that one theatre ordered a play to be written based on the show's premise with the beloved characters. The roles were performed by those actors who dubbed them in the series. The play was a smashing hit and it is still on. In The New Tens.
    • Red Dwarf is an archetypal sci-fi and one of the most well-loved {{Brit Com]}s. Its characters are insanely popular among Czech geeks. The dubbing was of extraordinary quality, and even people who hate dubbing in general own that the Czech version of Red Dwarf is an exception. "Kosmopako" and "Maa-goor" ("smeghead" was not used consistently) are still used and the source is recognized. Trpasli-con ("Dwarf Con") is one of the most popular conventions, and it is frequented by the voice cast, who not only do q&a sessions, but also dub extracts from the show live — sometimes improvised, sometimes with scripts. As a proof, read this article called Czech the Difference at reddwarf.co.uk.
    • 'Allo 'Allo!: It had a great translation and amazingly well chosen cast of voice actors, some of them real stars. Some catchphrases went memetic.
    • A Bit of Fry and Laurie: The show never aired in the Czech Republic, but people still know it and love it very much. For example, there are Fan Vids on youtube with Czech subtitles. As the example of exceptional love, one cheeky fan translated and provided subtitles for Hugh Laurie's musical number, performing a song called "America". Its only lyrics are intensely pronounced "America" and "the States". If you're wondering, the Czech word for "America" is "Amerika" and "the States" translates as "státy". See it here.
  • The British prime-time soap Coronation Street is very popular in Canada, to the point where stars of the show regularly come to the country on Inside the Actor's Studio-like tours.
  • Perfect Strangers, under the name "Primos Lejanos", was HUGE in Spain in the 90s, to the extent that it still airs on television nearly 20 years later. Much like the Starsky & Hutch example above, the reason of this was an excellent dub. But you don't have to take my word for it.
  • The World War II series Garrison's Gorillas became popular in China years after it was made.
  • The CBC is popular in areas of the U.S. along the Canadian border, especially because its coverage of the NHL and the Olympic Games are usually considered to be more comprehensive (and, well, more live) than the U.S. coverage. CBC channels are even picked up on cable systems of some American cities close to the border, such as Seattle.
  • When S 4 C (Channel Four's Welsh counterpart) premiered its sports (but eventually just football) show Sgorio in the late 1980's, it gained a cult following among English viewers (who tried desperately to pick up S 4 C's signal) for airing highlights from Germany's Bundesliga, Spain's La Liga, and Italy's Serie A leagues in the days before pay television was an established concept in Britain. Channel Four would get the memo and debut its own international football show in 1992.
  • The Brazilian telenovela Tropicaliente was very popular in 1990s Russia under the name Tropikanka, possibly due to its beach setting. Then-candidate Boris Yeltsin even used it to help him win for president, by convincing the network to schedule some extra chapters to run on election day to make sure more people would stay home and vote instead of travelling.
  • Prison Break: In the US, "that show on before 24". In China, a legitimate phenomenon.
  • Pacific Blue is quite popular in Norway, airing every summer there. One summer when it did not air there many of its Norwegian fans got mad and demanded that it should come back.
  • 2 Broke Girls has been a huge success in China lately; many young Chinese "[1]" say that they can relate to Max and Caroline's struggles with poverty and their attempts at setting up a business.
  • Overlapping with Periphery Demographic, Australian soap operas Home and Away and Neighbours are incredibly popular in Ireland. And their biggest fans are college students. So much so that the actors often get booked to appear at Irish night clubs, especially in towns with a big student population.
  • The American TV series Black Sheep Squadron was very popular in France, where it was renamed Les Têtes brûlées. The last DVD volume was released in France but not the U.S, and the occasional review or article on air-combat themed works are likely to reference it.
  • Saturday Night Live is very popular in Australia, of all places. Huge amounts of fans follow the episodes as they show there, and the show is a major talking point for many Australians.
    • This actually extends to NBC in general. Shows like Parks and Recreation and anything on their late-night lineup really are extremely popular on Australian TV.
  • Australian dating show Taken Out may have only lasted for one year in its home country, but its format was sold to various others. Most notably China, where it spawned two versions, one of which is known as Fei Cheng Wu Rao and has become a major ratings success, with twice as many viewers as its nearest timeslot competitor. Bizarrely enough, Fei Cheng Wu Rao is broadcast in Australia (with English subtitles) as If You Are the One.
  • The presenters of Top Gear once discovered this during the Middle East Special when they found out that their show was extremely popular in Syria by seeing themselves (dubbed into the local language) on the television in the restaurant where they had stopped over. This presented a bit of a quandary since they also had to pass into Israel, and the political situation meant that they couldn't have it be known they'd been in Syria even if they went through Jordan in betweennote . Fearing that their popularity and/or media coverage would blow their cover they proceeded to try Hiding in a Hijab, which, being Top Gear, failed miserably (though they eventually got into Israel anyway).
  • The Mentalist has never made the ratings that CBS's other supershows like NCIS or The Big Bang Theory do. It is, however, the most popular TV show in all France.
  • SF Debris posits this might have been the reason the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Take Me Out To The Holosuite" was more popular overseas, where foreign audiences would have been less familiar with the sports movie cliches it used, as well as being less familiar with baseball in general, therefore viewing it with fresher eyes
  • The German action show Alarm für Cobra 11 is very popular in other European countries like Spain, Italy and Hungary, where it is treated the same way as most well-known, top-rated American TV series (and on occasions produces better ratings than those).
  • Allegras Window was very popular with Hispanic viewers, airing for a year longer than the original English run of the show on Tr3s Jr. Blue's Clues also was this with the same demographic, and still occasionally airs to this day on Tr3s.
  • Pretty much everything Cris Morena produced was extremely popular in Israel for years among tween girls, much to the chagrin of everyone else.
    • Cris Morena shows are MASSIVELY Popular in ALL of Latin America and Italy. In particular Chiquititas and Floricienta caused a mania that was off the charts!

     In-Universe Examples 
  • Played literally in Dancing with the Stars, with David Hasselhoff's introduction lampshading his popularity in Germany.
  • In an episode of Slings and Arrows, Jack, an American movie actor playing Hamlet in a Canadian theatre festival, gets mobbed by Japanese tourists as he exits a showing of a movie he's in. He remarks, "I'm huge in Japan."
  • Entourage made use of this trope in-universe, when Vinnie Chase starts to run out of money, prior to being cast as Aquaman (which would go on to be the highest-grossing film of all time). He's only done a couple of small films at this point, but still garners some ungodly sum of money to do a commercial in Japan, because they love him there.
  • Lampshaded in the How I Met Your Mother episode "Field Trip" when Ted tries to take his new architecture class on a field trip and somehow picks up a German family. Barney notices the diversity of his group of students and decides to make them a focus group for their debates. One question Ted asks is "Who thinks David Hasselhoff is awesome?" When only the German family raises their hands, Ted says "Hm, it's true."
    • Additionally, Ted learns that videos of his drunk-crying wedding toasts have gained a sizable fandom in Finland.
  • In one episode of Full House, Fake Band leader Jesse got "big in Japan". He was eventually forced to make a Friend or Idol Decision on whether or not to leave his family behind and go on a pan-Asian tour.
  • In one episode of The Kids in the Hall, Kevin, after being shut out of a group conversation, tries to sell the viewer on the idea that "they love me in France." Cue a documentary about the beloved comedian "Le Poopie"... but by the end of it the narrator realizes that he has the wrong script and Kevin isn't popular in France.
  • Newsradio ran a subplot one episode about Jimmy James' new book of business tactics, an unmitigated disaster in the US due to its "Blind Idiot" Translation from the original Japanese (It Makes Sense in Context), but popular enough in the Rising Sun that the credits roll over a scene of him deplaning in Tokyo to be greeted by a crowd of cheering admirers waving giant paper-mache replicas of his smiling face from the book's cover.
  • In the Monk tie-in novel Mr. Monk Is Miserable, The Randy Disher Project is big in France (at least among the police, with the exception of the Inspector who, as their boss, is the "man" in the "stick-it-to-the-man-itiveness" of the RDP's only song).
  • In one episode of Friends Joey makes a commercial for, of all things, a blue lipstick for men in a "big in Japan" version of the trope.
  • On 30 Rock, Jenna Maroney has a "dance pop techno hybrid" called "Muffin Top" (literally about her muffin top and she tries to make this "sexy"), which is popular in Israel and Belgium. According to "Reaganing", she's also had a single that was Big In Japan.
  • In Nümberwang, the German export of Numberwang, the grand prize is a stein of beer and a signed photo of David Hasselhoff.
  • In Chuck, Jeffster gets the chance to be big in Germany.
  • In Up All Night, Ava is a minor celebrity but she's really popular in the Red States. She needs a large security detail when she performs in Branson, Missouri.
  • Castle directly references this trope, concerning a murdered child star named Charlie Reynolds who was apparently pretty famous in Russia, with one character even comparing it to Hasselhoff's popularity in Germany.
  • A victim-of-the-week on Bones was a Starving Musican who got killed shortly after discovering that he was actually a radio sensation in the Philippines.
  • From Citizen Khan, according to Mr. Khan, Pakistanis love British journalist Clare Balding because because she "loves her sport, she's very healthy, and friends with Mo Farah". He admires her so much that he gives a signed photo of her pride of place in the living room.
  • In NCIS, the team runs into a washed-up rock star named Manheim Gold, who was the target of a murder attempt from his ex-agent about royalties for the unexpected popularity of his music in Equatorial Guinea (but not'' the target of the murder attempt tat initially led the team to the case, as the bomb used in that murder attempt was planted a week before it went off and Manheim switched rooms a mere two days before said bomb went off in what was now his dressing room.)

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