Kath & Kim (U.S. TV series)

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Kath & Kim
Kath kim logo.png
Intertitle
Genre Situation Comedy
Created by Gina Riley
Jane Turner
Developed by Ben Silverman
Starring Molly Shannon
Selma Blair
John Michael Higgins
Mikey Day
Opening theme "Filthy/Gorgeous" by Scissor Sisters
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 17 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Gina Riley
Jane Turner
Rick McKenna
Michelle Nader
Teri Weinberg
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 23 minutes
Production company(s) Universal Media Studios
Reveille Productions
Riley-Turner Productions
Distributor NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Original run October 9, 2008 (2008-10-09) – March 12, 2009 (2009-03-12)
Chronology
Related shows Based on the Australian series

Kath & Kim is an American version of the Australian television comedy series of the same name starring Selma Blair and Molly Shannon. The series premiered on NBC on October 9, 2008. The Australian version was created by its original stars, Jane Turner and Gina Riley, who also serve as executive producers and consultants on this version as well, which is co-produced through Reveille Productions and Universal Media Studios.

Its first episode premiered in Australia on Sunday, October 12 on the Seven Network and its Australian broadcast was cancelled after the second episode the following week.[1] The series was then pushed to a graveyard slot of 11pm Mondays, and then pre-empted for the 2009 Australian Open after the first-run airing of episode 9, "Friends". Although the show initially garnered unremarkable ratings and mixed reviews from critics,[2] NBC picked up Kath & Kim for a full season order of 22 episodes on October 31, 2008.[3] On January 15, 2009, NBC cut the episode order from 22 to 17 episodes.[4][5] The show's season finale aired on March 12, 2009. On May 19, 2009, NBC confirmed the series cancellation.

Cast and characters[edit]

Episodes[edit]

Production[edit]

Prior to being adapted to an American version, the first two seasons of the original version aired in the United States on Trio in 2004. After Trio folded it moved over to the Sundance Channel in early 2006.

On November 9, 2006, NBC announced a U.S. version of Kath & Kim. A pilot episode was produced by Reveille (the same studio that adapted Ugly Betty and The Office into U.S. hits) and NBC Universal,[6] with Riley and Turner serving as executive producers and consultants. Paul Feig was picked to direct the pilot episode.[7]

Originally, NBC wanted the series to air in the 2007–2008 fall television season, but decided against it.[8] The series was greenlighted after the network named Reveille founder Ben Silverman its new entertainment head. Silverman had been trying to bring this adaptation to American screens since 2004.[9] The show was ordered to series in early 2008.[10] The series aired in Australia on channel 7 in mid-2008, but only aired the pilot and first episode until it was taken off and replaced by repeats of the original series due to popular demand. The full series was later aired in Australia.

Casting[edit]

Molly Shannon was cast as Kath,[11] and Selma Blair as Kim.[12] Even though they are playing mother and daughter, Shannon is actually only eight years older than Blair: Shannon was born in 1964, Blair in 1972. Similarly, in the Australian version, Jane Turner (Kath) is only five months older than Gina Riley (Kim).

Several names have been changed for the US version. While Kath has retained her full name from the Australian series (in which she was known as Kath Day until her marriage to Kel at the end of Season 1) and Kim has retained her first name, Kim is known as Kim Day (rather than Kim Craig née Day) although in one episode Kath calls her by her full name in which Kim's original middle name of Diane was replaced with Crystal. The two other characters have different first names: Craig Baker (replacing Brett Craig) and Phil Knight (replacing Kel Knight), while the character of Sharon is entirely absent from the series.

Maya Rudolph made the show's first guest appearance as Athena Scooberman in episode 8, "Sacrifice".[13] Pamela Anderson made the show's second guest appearance in episode 9, "Friends".[14]

Location settings[edit]

Originally, the series setting was supposed to be set in Fountain Valley, Arizona, a fictitious suburb of Phoenix, Arizona. There were suggestions of using the San Fernando Valley portion of Los Angeles, California, as the setting, after they started shooting episodes on June 13, 2008 in Los Angeles' West Hills neighborhood. Throughout the series there were references to geographical setting as Central Florida; Characters sometimes referenced short, sunny, afternoon rain downpours as are typical of Central Florida's climate.

Reception[edit]

The show has generated criticism from fans and television critics,[15] especially in the casting,[16] adjusting of the tone of the show[17] and even the show's costume design,[18] which has led to Blair firing back over the claims that it ruins the creativity of the original.[19] Early reviews of the pilot were poor, with the San Francisco Chronicle calling it "a contender for worst remake ever".[20]

Ratings[edit]

Despite negative reviews, the series debut's ratings were strong. The show finished third overall with a total of 7.5 million viewers. In the 18-49 and 18-34 year-old demographics it placed second and first respectively.[21] By its third episode, viewers had dropped to 4.99 million viewers, two thirds of the viewers from the pilot.[22]

Episode Viewers
(in millions)
Household rating/
Share
"Love" 7.46 4.9/7
"Respect" 6.01 TBA
"Old" 4.98 TBA
"Money" 5.46 TBA
"Dating" 5.57 TBA
"Jealousy" 5.08 TBA
"Gay" 5.47 TBA
"Sacrifice" 4.88 TBA
"Friends" 5.33 TBA

References[edit]

  1. ^ McWhirter, Erin (October 20, 2008). "Channel Seven dumps US version of Kath and Kim". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-10-20. 
  2. ^ "SNL alum relishes role in remake of Aussie sitcom". Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  3. ^ "'Kath & Kim' gets full-season pickup". Retrieved 2008-10-31. [dead link]
  4. ^ http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news.aspx?id=7920
  5. ^ http://www.c21media.net/news/detail.asp?area=4&article=47036
  6. ^ "Pilots land safely at NBC". Hollywood Reporter. 2007-01-10. Retrieved 2007-04-02. [dead link]
  7. ^ Feig to Direct Molly Shannon's Kath & Kim - ComingSoon.net
  8. ^ US TV - News - In full: NBC's 2007-08 show by show scorecard - Digital Spy
  9. ^ From Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel (April 21, 2008)
  10. ^ Schneider, Michael (February 5, 2008). "NBC picks up 'Kim' sans pilot". Variety. 
  11. ^ Molly Shannon signs for US version of Kath And Kim - The Daily Telegraph, 4 Oct 2007
  12. ^ Selma Blair Completes 'Kath and Kim' - Zap2it, 22 Jan 2008
  13. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1254674/
  14. ^ "What a hornbag! Pammy to star in Kath & Kim". The Age (Melbourne). November 15, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  15. ^ "Prospect Of US 'Kath & Kim' Is Giving Us Horrible Nightmares In Advance" Defamer Australia (October 24, 2007)
  16. ^ Not Happy About The 'Kath & Kim' Remake? Don't Tell Selma! Defamer Australia (July 2, 2008)
  17. ^ US 'Kath & Kim' Continues To Miss The Point Defamer Australia (July 22, 2008)
  18. ^ Surprisingly, American 'Kath & Kim' Adaptation Misses The Point Defamer Australia (May 30, 2008)
  19. ^ "US Kath & Kim Star Selma Blair Blasts Critics" From News.com.au (July 2, 2008)
  20. ^ TV reviews: 'Kath & Kim,' 'Testees', Tim Goodman, San Francisco Chronicle, October 6, 2008
  21. ^ US Kath and Kim rates very well on debut, NineMSN News, October 11, 2008
  22. ^ http://www.sitcomsonline.com/blog/2008/10/week-5-numbers-first-four-nights-how.html SitcomsOnline.com News Blog: Week 5 Numbers (First Four Nights); How the Sitcoms Did, Sitcoms Online, October 26, 2008

External links[edit]