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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 April 2007, 16:22 GMT 17:22 UK
Hollyoaks gets US cable TV slot
Hollyoaks is shown on Channel 4 in the UK
The BBC's US cable channel BBC America is dropping classic shows including Benny Hill in favour of modern hits like Hollyoaks and Torchwood.

The channel, which is available in 54 million US homes, is planning a "complete transformation".

It will now feature more news and weekly themed nights - including crime drama on "Murder Mondays".

BBC America was the US launch pad for The Office and Life on Mars - both of which have been adapted by US networks.

It has won several awards including four Golden Globes - for The Office and drama Gideon's Daughter, starring Bill Nighy and Emily Blunt.

Benny Hill
Benny Hill's show will disappear gradually from the schedule
Channel 4's teen soap Hollyoaks will now get a nightly slot on the station, with a weekend omnibus for those who have missed out.

Other programmes coming to the channel include Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood, Hotel Babylon and BBC America co-production Wire in the Blood, a psychological thriller starring Robson Green.

The channel already broadcasts popular British shows like Gordon Ramsay's F Word, Silent Witness and Spooks, which is known as MI-5 in the US.

A spokeswoman said classic programmes like Benny Hill, The Avengers and Keeping Up Appearances would be taken off the air "gradually".

BBC America is owned by BBC Worldwide, the corporation's commercial arm. It is funded by advertising, rather than the licence fee.

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