Watch out America - the Wests are coming. The United States is finally getting its own version of Outrageous Fortune after a false start last year.

Most of the core cast of Scoundrels - as the series has been renamed - is confirmed, and the show is due to screen on the ABC in the northern summer.

At least eight episodes have been ordered and the show is being written by Lyn Greene and Richard Levine, the team behind Nip/Tuck.

Robyn Malcolm, who stars as tough-as-nails matriach Cheryl West, is predicting the US version will use the essence of the story - "a working-class criminal family trying to cope with their dad being put away and going straight".

"I get the impression they're coming from the 'it's not broken, so why fix it' camp and are being as true as they can be to our original while making it fully American."

But she expects the more controversial content commonplace in the Kiwi version - the sex, swearing and drug-use - to be toned down.

Her role will be filled by Virginia Madsen, best known for an Oscar-nominated turn in the wine country road-trip movie Sideways.

Her ex, career criminal Wolf, will be played by Neal McDonough, who starred as Desperate Housewives' baddie Dave Williams.

The couple's chalk-and-cheese teenage daughters Pascalle and Loretta - whose names will be changed to Vanessa and Hope - will be played by Leven Rambin, who has appeared on Grey's Anatomy, and Vanessa Marano, who has been on the Young and the Restless and Gilmore Girls.

Twins Van and Jethro, played by Antony Starr on Outrageous, will be given the all-American names of Cal and Logan and be brought to life by Patrick Flueger, who has a Kiwi connection through his appearance in The World's Fastest Indian.

Carlos Bernard will play cop Wayne Judd, who will be renamed Detective Sergeant Mack.

Madsen aside, Malcolm is unfamiliar with the cast but reckons Bernard is "seriously sexy".

She'd like to see veteran actor Robert Duvall playing the only main role yet to be cast - the hilarious Grandpa.

It's ABC's second attempt at adapting the Kiwi favourite. A pilot of the first version, Good Behavior, was filmed but no series was commissioned.

Malcolm can't predict whether Scoundrels will be more successful than its short-lived predecessor, which she never saw, but she believes with two very experienced writers and a great cast, there's no reason it shouldn't be a hit.

Outrageous Fortune creator James Griffin has high hopes for the show and was particularly pleased with Madsen's casting.

"I've read the first script and it follows the first episode of Outrageous Fortune pretty closely. I was happy to see that. They seem to have cottoned on to the heart and soul of it."

A British version of the show called Honest screened on ITV in 2008 but was badly received by critics. Griffin says he thinks it "missed the point".

Several other countries have bought rights, including Australia, Croatia, Ireland, Italy and Slovenia.

The sixth and final series of Outrageous Fortune is being filmed and will screen on TV3 later this year.