Being Erica, the Canadian dramedy about a time-traveling therapy patient, is the latest import to be adapted for American audiences.
ABC is developing a U.S. version, which will be written by Eastwick's Maggie Friedman. It's executive-produced by David Fortier and Ivan Schneeberg of Temple Street Productions, who also produce the original. Being Erica airs on the CBC in Canada and SOAPnet in America. The third season of the series will premiere in the U.S. on Wednesday, Jan. 26.
Being Erica returns for Season 3 in January
The original Erica stars Erin Karpluk as a therapy patient who travels back in time to fix her past mistakes. The show averages around half a million viewers in Canada. The series is a hot commodity across the globe, airing in more than 160 countries, including the U.K. and Spain.
Karpluk told TVGuide.com on Thursday that she was initially nervous about someone else playing Erica Strange. "Hold on! There's only one Erica, here," the actress recalls saying during format pitch meetings.
Still, if the story line and formatting turn out great, Karpluk says "Game on!"
"I'm totally open to it," she says. "I would be really excited to see how somebody else would do an interpretation of this story."
Watch full episodes of Being Erica
Adapting a show from another country is not a new concept. NBC's The Office originated in the U.K., while ABC's Ugly Betty was based on the Colombian telenovela Yo Soy Betty, la fea.
While those particular adaptations stayed close to their originals, Karpluk would love to see ABC shake up the series by casting a male in the lead role.
"In the back of my head, I've always thought if anyone was to redo this show, I'd like to see how it would change if it was a man," she says.
Her dream casting for the role? Geoff Stults, who starred in ABC's October Road and Happy Town. "He's a very interesting guy and he's very down to earth," she says.
Karpluk offers some advice to the team producing the U.S. version: Make sure whoever takes the lead looks old enough to have regrets. "The 30ish and older range is when you should know what you're doing with your life and have direction," she says. "I don't know that it would be as successful if Erica or Eric were in their early 20s because I don't know that they have that life experience yet."
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An official decision about a fourth season of Being Erica in Canada won't be made until early spring. Until then, Karpluk says the cast is keeping their "fingers optimistically crossed."
If the series isn't renewed, might Karpluk consider starring in the ABC version? "It would be entirely dependent on the network," she says. "But I'm very fond of the show that we created ... I don't know if that would be strange or not."
Who would you like to see star in the U.S. version of Being Erica?