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NBC taps another new series

A U.S. remake of the Australian hit comedy 'Kath & Kim' bypasses the traditional pilot process.

February 08, 2008|From City News Service

NBC has ordered "Kath & Kim," an American adaptation of a hit Australian comedy series that will star "Saturday Night Live" alumna Molly Shannon as a cheerful divorcee in her 40s and Selma Blair as her self-absorbed daughter.

This is the second time in six days NBC has announced a series bypassing the traditional pilot process. On Friday, NBC said that it had given a 13-episode order to "The Listener," a Canadian drama about a psychic paramedic.

NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker has vowed to make fewer pilots in a cost-cutting move.

"Kath & Kim" is produced by Reveille, the production company founded in 2002 by NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios Co-Chairman Ben Silverman. Silverman has put his ownership of Reveille in a blind trust, will not profit from any new Reveille projects, and all NBC deal making with Reveille is reviewed at the highest corporate level, according to a network official.

Silverman has agreed to sell Reveille, which makes "The Office" and "Ugly Betty," to a London-based firm owned by Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, for at least $125 million, people familiar with the situation said last month.

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