Thursday, March 19, 2015

Who's The Boss? The Upper Hand!

In the late 1980's, Columbia Pictures was in a free fall. While their television programming was doing well, the box office was not. Mega-bombs like Ishtar and Leonard, Part 6 littered the company's slate. The company decided to expand its reach by making its popular show formats available internationally. The first show it made available was Who's the Boss? which had been a huge hit in the United States and a top seller internationally. ITV in the U.K. eagerly snapped up format rights. Rather than merely copy the existing scripts, ITV chose to make changes while retaining the spirit of the original show. Therefore The Upper Hand was born.

In the U.K. version, ex-boxer Tony Micelli became ex-Soccer pro Charlie Burrows. He still took over the household duties from his wealthy lady employer. The show embraced the same "will they or won't they" storyline from the U.S. version but added its own spark, which appealed to the U.K. audience. The show was so successful it actually had an extended run, airing a season that showed what happened after the two leads got married.