Thursday, October 09, 2008

Kath and Kim



I've seen the promos for a new sitcom on NBC's Thursday night lineup, Kath & Kim.  Like it's prime time neighbor, The Office, it's an imported format from Australia.  The stars of the US version aren't unknowns, Molly Shannon (Kath) and Selma Blair (Kim), but the early reviews aren't hopeful. It's timeslot is between My Name Is Earl and The Office, so everyone will be watching to see if the ratings tank between the shows, particularly over as the season progresses.  The SF Chron had an idiotic review comparing the two versions.  Huh?  The Office has to be tweaked for US audiences, as are most format imports.

Here's a clip of the Australian version on YouTube:


I don't think a straight copy of the formula would work, but more on the show later.

What caught my eye in NBC's promo blitz was the free preview on Amazon.com.  An ad on Amazon got me to watch the pilot.  I think the premise can work, but the writing needs a bit of work to play to the strengths of the actors...the Aussie version's Kim is more edgy, while Selma plays-up a young/dumb/vapid caricature in the US version.  

NBC Universal defected from Apple last year, only to return a year later, underscoring the power of iTunes and its downward pressure on price (regular content is $1.99 & HD is $2.99).  Premium cable content may be higher, depending on the deal in place, but one thing is clear...Apple wants to keep prices low and structured.  

What's your take on the show itself?  What do you think needs to be done to build audience?


1 comment:

Ken said...

I might do a post on the ABC high-concept drama, Life on Mars, but I wanted to give you guys an update on the ratings (in millions [M] of viewers). Kath & Kim (7.46M) actually had more viewers than the lead-in, My Name is Earl (7.1M), but both trail Survivor: Gabon (13.3M) & Ugly Betty (8.5M), in that order. (NLCS- Dodger loss to Phils averaged 7.7M until 11 EDT/8AM PDT. It will be interesting to see how Kath & Kim fares, as the season progresses.