Friday, October 03, 2008

NBC Fall Pilot Review: Kath & Kim - Premieres October 9; NBC Schedule Changes; Home Makeover Also Airing on CMT

Kath & Kim

Kath & Kim - Thursdays 8:30PM ET/PT on NBC
Premieres Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 8:30PM ET/PT

NBC's Kath & Kim is an American version of a series of the same name that is already a proven hit in the land down under, Australia. Molly Shannon and Selma Blair star as a mother-daughter duo that find themselves living together after finding that happiness cannot be found in their respective marriages. But that could quite possibly be where the similarities end, because this duo is driving each other nuts. Can they take it anymore? Well, obviously the answer is that they're going to have to, thus we have the premise of a series.

The series is developed by Ben Silverman, who also serves as the executive producer of the ever-popular series The Office (which airs on the same night as Kath & Kim). Michelle Nader serves as the executive producer and writer of the series. The stars and producers of the Australian version, Jane Turner and Gina Riley, serve as the consultants for the NBC version.


Cast Details:

* Selma Blair as Kim Day
* Molly Shannon as Kim Day
* John Michael Higgins as Phil Knight
* Mikey Day as Craig Barker

The series keeps the core cast small, focusing primarily on stars Molly Shannon (as mother Kath) and Selma Blair (as daughter Kim). Mikey Day portrays Craig, Kim's husband that she has separated from, who has a job in the exciting field of electronics, which happens to mean that he works at Best Buy. John Michael Higgins plays Phil, Kath's boyfriend that just doesn't quite get along with Kim, but may somehow have to learn to do so.

Molly Shannon is, of course, known from her years of work on the series Saturday Night Live. Selma Blair, while not necessarily known as a TV actress, has found success in films such as Cruel Intentions, Legally Blonde, Hellboy, and others. Mikey Day is relatively new to the small screen, although he has had minor roles here and there. John Michael Higgins is known for his recurring roles on series such as Ally McBeal, Boston Legal, and Arrested Development, as well as a few big screen roles.


Pilot Plot:

We received two episodes for review--the first episode and the second episode airing October 9 and 16.

In the premiere episode, "Love," romance is in the air for divorcee Kath, when she discovers a sandwich shop owner named Phil. But daughter Kim, who has decided to part from her husband that she married mere weeks ago, is determined to not see this trainwreck of a man (as she sees him) steal her mother's heart. So what other choice does she have than to do than to move back home?

The second episode of the series, "Old," finds Kath planning the perfect wedding with Phil, the perfect wedding that she missed out on before... but will Kim allow that to happen? Of course not! So what better way to talk her mother out of marriage than to convince her that she is too old? The wedding bells get silenced even further when Kath starts believing it, after she sees Phil with a younger woman. Justina Machado guest stars.


Analysis:

This is a decent and well-written series, with many funny moments, but there is one major issue. To me, the series feels like much more of a niche series that would cater to a very specific audience. It doesn't feel like a series that should be airing on a national broadcast network such as NBC, but rather on a cable network. The show appears to want to break a lot of barriers, which would make it appropriate for a premium cable network, where it could truly let loose.

Still, going back to the writing and casting, it must be said that a great job was done in respect to these. The cast is very impressive, particularly in regards to the "unknown" actors that appear on the series. Shannon and Blair play a very convincing mother-daughter duo (even if they are only a few years apart age-wise) and I really thought that the Higgins portrayal of the character Phil was great. Hopefully he'll play a large role throughout the series.


Conclusion:

When the dust settles, this is a decent series that has some hope, but not if it remains on the NBC Thursday night lineup. While it is a sitcom that is done in a style similar to the other NBC Thursday night programs, the substance isn't quite the same, and it feels like it would work better on another night or even another network (which probably won't happen). The series doesn't need to be "retooled" or anything, but it does need to find a better place to air if it wants to survive (airing after the slumping My Name is Earl isn't it).


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 4/5
Funniness: 4/5
Overall: 3.5/5

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 10/03/08

Discuss the show after you watch it on Thursday, October 9 on our message board.

Related Links:

  • NBC.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Kath & Kim Photo Gallery




  • It looks like NBC is pulling America's Toughest Jobs from Friday at 8 after tonight and next week. 8 episodes would have aired after its October 10 airing. The series was ordered for 10 episodes and the final two episodes will air on Saturdays at 8pm (Oct. 18 and 25). Ouch...but at least it will air, but it will be painful to see if it can even get 3 million on that slot. The series doesn't even get 4 million on Fridays. Deal or No Deal will move from 9pm to 8pm starting Friday, October 24. On Friday, October 17, NBC will launch the two-hour series premiere of new drama Crusoe. Crusoe will then air Fridays at 9pm following Deal or No Deal starting Friday, October 24.
    In other NBC news, NBC is adding new reality series Mommas Boys, the mother of all reality dating shows -- from multimedia talent-producer, Ryan Seacrest. It will debut on Wednesday, October 29 from 9-10 p.m. ET/PT, replacing the previously scheduled Deal or No Deal, which will still remain on Fridays. The series centers on three possessive, yet loving mothers who must help their complacent sons choose the perfect woman -- and ultimately poses the question: "Who is really the most important woman in every man's life?"

    TV Land is not the only cable network getting into the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition game, now sister station CMT will also air the show. CMT will start airing the home building ABC show tomorrow with a marathon of three two-hour episodes from 2-8pm. Then CMT will air the show weeknights in the 5pm hour and 8pm hour starting Monday (October 6). On TV Land it will air weekdays at 7PM and 11PM ET, among other times (see our TV Land October thread).
    Remember new episodes of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition still airs on Sundays at 8/7 Central on ABC.


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