The American version of hit British sitcom The Office is poised to bomb in the US after viewers gave the pilot episode the worst ever rating in TV network NBC's history, labelling it "too depressing".

Comedian RICKY GERVAIS' show about a fictional office in Slough, England scooped two Golden GlobeS earlier this year (04), but NBC bosses are now convinced the American cast and crew's efforts to repeat its success stateside will fail - so they've limited the series to just six episodes.

And British TV critics are not surprised the show has left American audiences baffled - because the two nations have very different comedy tastes.

ALLY ROSS says, "The problem is Britain celebrates sarcasm, ugliness and failure. Americans celebrate optimism, good teeth and success.

"We get The Office. They don't. Why? It is funny because of the misery and hopelessness of the situation and Americans would never be able to get their heads round this simple fact."

02/06/2004 02:40