10 British TV Shows That Crossed the Pond

'The Office'
Actor and writer Ricky Gervais poses holding two awards for "The Office" at the British Academy Television Awards in 2003. Gareth Davies/Getty Images

A BBC show about a BBC show, "The Office" earned critical acclaim after landing in the U.S. In 2004, the series aired on BBC America and became the first U.K. sitcom to win a Golden Globe Award for best comedy. One of its leads, Ricky Gervais, was also the first British actor to win a Globe for comedy [source: BBC News]. The award show prized Gervais so much it later brought him back as host for three years. NBC loved the "The Office" enough to produce its own version in 2005 starring Steve Carell.

Shot as a faux documentary, the British series takes place in a paper factory, and some moments are so true-to-life they're cringe-worthy. Gervais' manager, a legend in his own mind, is a truly inept administrator. Martin Freeman ("Sherlock," "The Hobbit") stars as Tim, a competent working stiff tired of getting nowhere. He finds a little joy by playing odd practical jokes on Mackenzie Crook's Gareth, a naïve, yet arrogant, co-worker. How did Gareth's stapler end up inside a Jell-O mold?