The American version of Only Fools and Horses has been leaked online – see it here

Richard Bevan
Richard Bevan
4 Min Read

The pilot episode of the ill-fated American adaptation of British classic, “Only Fools and Horses,” titled “Kings of Van Nuys,” has been leaked online. Fans are stunned by the idea of Del Boy and Rodney navigating the sunny streets of California in the show.

“Only Fools and Horses” was nothing short of a phenomenon in the UK. After its debut in 1981, it swiftly became a comedy giant. At its peak, it broke TV rating records and cemented itself as a big part of British culture. The escapades of Del Boy, Rodney, and Grandad were the stuff of legend, with iconic catchphrases and other unforgettable characters still quoted in everyday conversation.

However, the pull of this British classic proved too tempting for Hollywood, which set its sights on creating an American counterpart. Just like the never-ending debate about the superiority of the UK or US version of “The Office,” the US decided to give its own spin to “Only Fools and Horses”. Little did they know that this venture was destined to fail.

American OFAH left fans unimpressed

Comedian Tom Mayhew recently took it upon himself to dissect the leaked footage of “Kings of Van Nuys” on YouTube, and his findings are nothing short of hilarious. He warned viewers, “There’s quite a lot. It joins the list of bad USA adaptations of British sitcoms, unfortunately.”

American version of Only Fools and Horses
Pilot specialist channel uploaded the entire pilot episode to YouTube.

Mayhew’s criticisms of the American pilot are as sharp as they are accurate. His first grievance is that “the flat is too big and it looks too nice” to capture the essence of the original British sitcom. The translation seems to have lost the gritty, working-class charm of Nelson Mandela House.

The opening scene doesn’t escape Mayhew’s scrutiny either. He notes that it lacks the heart and drama that made the original so beloved. The British version captivated viewers with a compelling Freeman scene blending tension, drama, and humour, fostering immediate character connection.

Mayhew goes on to argue that other scenes in the American adaptation make “no logical sense” and fail to create a believable world where the characters are truly struggling to make ends meet. In his words, “Why would you care?”

In summary, Mayhew finds that the American adaptation lacks the original’s working-class essence, lacks drama, and has an inconsistent tone. His advice is crystal clear: “I wouldn’t recommend you watch it.”

The YouTube video has garnered significant attention, with viewers overwhelmingly agreeing with Mayhew’s critique. One commenter aptly sums it up, “God, this American show looks awful.”

Back To The Future star cast as’ Grandad’

The leaked footage has reignited conversations about the ill-fated US adaptation of “Only Fools and Horses.” It’s evident that this American take, despite its star-studded cast featuring Christopher Lloyd, John Leguizamo, and Dustin Ybarra in the roles of Del Trotter, Rodney, and Ronnie Trotter respectively, couldn’t capture the magic of the original.

Legendary Back To The Future actor played Grandad in Only Fools and Horse American pilot
The producers cast “Doc” from Back to the Future to play the role of Grandad.

There were two attempts to bring it to life, but both pilots were met with rejection by ABC. Despite the network’s president, Paul Lee, being a fan of the original, it just wasn’t meant to be. The episodes were shelved, and “Only Fools and Horses” remains a quintessential British classic, untarnished by its American counterpart.

You can watch the pilot episode below:

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