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.