EXCLUSIVE: A number of U.S. networks and streaming services are battling it out for the rights to a rubber puppet parody of Donald Trump. I hear that a slew of broadcasters are interested in bringing UK satirical show Spitting Image to the U.S.
NBC, Hulu, Netflix and Amazon are all thought to be interested in the show, which is being rebooted by Roger Law, co-creator of the original series, which ran for 18 series on ITV.
Deadline understands that the American remake will be produced by Avalon Television, the production company behind hits including HBO’s Last Week Tonight With John Oliver and Channel 4 and Amazon’s Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney comedy Catastrophe. The series is likely to be written in New York with U.S writers but produced and filmed in the UK, where the puppets are made.
The show features puppet caricatures of celebrities and politicians and in the 1980s and early 1990s was famous for featuring the likes of Ronald Reagan, Queen Elizabeth and Margaret Thatcher. A U.S. pilot was produced by the Spitting Image team in 1986 for NBC — Spitting Image: Down and Out in the White House narrated by Only Fools and Horses star David Jason — but it was never picked up to series.
The news of the U.S. remake comes as Law’s Trump puppet goes on display in Norwich, UK, as part of a retrospective of the artist’s career. Speaking ahead of the show at Norwich’s Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Law said that it’s easier to “get away with murder” with puppet parodies and that he hopes Trump, reportedly an avid TV viewer, tweets about the show once it’s on air. “That’ll get a few more viewers… He spends six hours a day watching television so of course he’ll watch it,” he told the BBC.