Media: The Beeb Cashes In

The BBC is invading American TV and bringing big bucks to Britain. So why is it under so much fire?

The big icons of the small screen aren't so much on network television these days as they are on cable, where characters like Larry David, Tony Soprano and David Brent exist. Wait, who's Brent? If you have to ask, you haven't seen The Office, the British comedy airing on the cable channel BBC America. An absurdist mockumentary, The Office is a critical and popular smash in Britain. And with its second season premiering in the U.S. this month, it has claimed a cult following and turned Brent, played by British actor Ricky Gervais, into a hit with the media cognoscenti. A...

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