Payne is a 1999 American sitcom adapted from the 1970s British television comedy Fawlty Towers. This adaptation, which was a mid-season replacement on CBS, originally aired from March 15 to April 28, 1999. It costars John Larroquette, who was also an executive producer for the series, and JoBeth Williams. Featured too as regular supporting characters are Julie Benz and Rick Batalla. Despite receiving the blessing of John Cleese, who reportedly agreed to be an "irregular cast member" and perform in a recurring role as a rival hotelier if Payne were renewed, the series was cancelled following the broadcast of its eighth episode. A total of nine episodes were filmed, but one was not aired as part of the series' original presentation on CBS.
Payne is the third unsuccessful attempt by American television producers to adapt and transplant a version of Fawlty Towers to the United States. The first one, developed in 1978, is a 30-minute sitcom costarring Harvey Korman and Betty White. Titled Snavely and directed by Hal Cooper, that production never progressed beyond the completion of a pilot. The second series, Amanda's starring Bea Arthur, was broadcast in 1983 on ABC and lasted 10 episodes before it was cancelled.
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