American Skam Remake: How Similar Will Shame Be to the Norwegian Version?

We finally have some info about Shame, the planned American remake of Skam.

We’ve known for a while that Skam, the Norwegian teen drama that has taken the internet by storm, will be getting an American remake.

Simon Fuller, the man who brought us American Idol, bought the rights to the format for the series from the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation with plans to adapt it for American and Canadian audiences. Now, we have some more details about what that American remake, Shame, will look like…

When will the American Skam remake air?

According to Swedish website Svenska Dagbladet, Shame will begin filming over the summer and will continue production through Christmas with a loose debut date for sometime in the fall. The Norwegian drama has a very fast turn around, which allows the story to stay flexible and perhaps even be inspired by fan reaction, as well as what it going on in the world.

Will the American Skam remake have the same characters as Norwegian Skam?

The American remake will follow the same characters as the Norwegian drama: Eva, Noora, Isak, and Sana. Like the Norwegian drama, the American Skam will use amateur actors to play the roles. It sounds like auditions will begin soon, if they haven’t started already.

Will the American Skam remake have the same structure?

According to Twitter user @IsakxEven, Shame will use Skam’s same distribution structure — i.e. the scenes and text messages will be released in “real time” via a website, with transmedia profiles on platforms like Instagram supplementing the story.

It’s unclear as of right now where Skam will air its full-length episode at the end of the week. In some ways, Skam seems like a great fit for MTV, but the cable network just begin moving away from scripted drama.

Where will the American Skam remake be set?

The American production has yet to choose a city to set the Skam remake, though Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle, and Austin have all been mentioned as possible candidates.

The producers have said that they want to keep the American version as grounded as the Norwegia version, and hope to incorporate the russebus plot into the remake in some way. Fuller wants Skam creator Julie Andem to be involved in the show. If Andem does play a part, I am much more confident about the chances the American remake has to capture some of the magic of the Norwegian drama.

Will the American Skam remake be any good?

Unlike some fans, I am not against the idea of an American Skam remake altogether (though I understand where the resistance come from). However, some of these new details make me nervous about this show. One of the major reasons why Skam is so great is because Andem took the time to interview real teenagers and find out what they were struggling with, thinking about, and hoping for from the world. In other words: she listened.

The fact that the American remake is going to keep the same characters feels like a missed opportunity, like missing the forest for the trees. These characters are amazing, but they are amazing because they were built around Andem’s specific interviews and the specific actors she found to fill the roles. It’s a much more difficult process to shape these stories and these characters as you go, but it also seems to have made all of the difference when it comes to Skam.

It’s unclear, at this point, if the American Skam remake will include an extensive teen interview process like the one Andem went through before writing each season of Skam, but, if the American producers of Shame take away anything from the Skam format, it should be this process of listening to the anxieties, concerns, and dreams of real teenagers. It’s what makes Skam special.

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