herald

Friday 31 October 2014

Slainte! TV classic Cheers to get a remake -- in Irish

Legendary US sitcom Cheers is getting a new lease of life as casting begins for an Irish language version of the hit TV show.

Irish actors are being invited to fill the shoes of some of the most famous characters in television comedy after a Dublin production company completed a deal with CBS in Los Angeles to film the series 'as Gaeilge.'

Already there is speculation about which Irish actors would be the most suitable for the classic comedy roles.

Stuart Townsend could yet be persuaded to apply for the central role of Sam Malone. He is believed to have the good looks and the talent to switch to comedy and take over Ted Danson's character.

And those indulging in a little 'fantasy casting' could plump for hunky gaelgoir Daithi O Se, who might be coaxed to do a crash course in acting to take over the role of barman Woody, played by Woody Harrelson in the original Boston bar version.

A terrific coup would be to persuade Amy Huberman to brush up on her cupla focal to play Shelly Long's character Diane Chambers.

Irish company Sideline is already working on casting, script edition and translation of 275 scripts from the classic 1980s show.

Michael O'Meallaigh, commissioning director for TG4, is reported to be backing Sideline's full production submission to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland next month.

Billy McGrath, creative director of Sideline, told the Irish Film and Television Network website that the company has the freedom to adapt the original scripts to make 10 or 12 episodes for the Irish market. The show has the working title Teach Sean.

"I know some people think it's crazy but Sideline is now focused on both scripted and non-scripted formats," he said.

It isn't known if someone will commissioned to write a new theme tune to come up with an Irish version of Where Everybody Knows Your Name.

No actors names have yet been associated with Teach Sean but that hasn't stopped people from speculating who might join the cast.

The part of Norm, the rotund regular who propped up the corner of the Boston bar for years, could be ideally suited to Irish veteran Colm Meaney.

Frank Kelly, beloved for his role as Father Jack in Father Ted, might be a very interesting pick to play elderly barman Ernie the Coach.

And maybe Charlie (Tom Jordan) from Fair City might take on the role of Cliff the Mailman and Sharon Ni Bheolain could even be persuaded to take a crack at the role of Carla.

aokeeffe@herald.ie

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