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Kath and Kim

Kath and Kim

Kath and Kim crack US market

FORGET Fountain Lakes - those foxymorons of Australian suburbia, Kath & Kim, have sold their story to the US.

NBC has announced it will film a pilot for a localised version of the hit show, potentially taking its brand of Aussie "yumour" to its biggest audience yet.

South Park writer Nancy Pimental has penned the American adaptation, which will continue to focus the comic action around the dynamics of a mother/daughter relationship.

NBC executives and the same co-producers who formatted Who Wants To Be A Millionaire for worldwide viewers, are yet to sign-off on their own cast of desperados but will begin filming the first episode in "the coming months".

Rick McKenna, Kath & Kim's executive producer, said while many Aussie aspects of the show, starring comic duo Gina Riley and Jane Turner, will change, the US series "would still make its way to a mall".

Unable to comment on the chosen location, McKenna said: "It won't be Fountain Lakes, but with the little research we've done on the town and city they've chosen it seems a perfect fit."

Riley, Turner and McKenna will fly over for the filming of the first episode and will be credited as co-executive producers on the US show. The deal has been two years in the making, with the Melbourne-based production team sceptical its homegrown humour would travel.

"We were nervous selling it to New Zealand, let alone Britain and now the 11 countries who screen it. But it has worked," McKenna said.

"The warts-and-all way they deal with family tension is what makes it universal."

The Australian sitcom follows in the footsteps of other US adaptations of successful foreign shows, including The Office, which was originally a massive hit in Britain for comedian/writer Ricky Gervais.

The show has rated well in the US, but die-hard fans wonder why the original needed to be "Americanised". But Aussie fans can look forward to their own update from our very own desperate housewives.

"Gina and Jane are bashing away on the word processor at the moment. We're not sure if it's going to be another series or a special, but they're writing anyway," McKenna, Riley's husband, said.

"You may have seen enough of Kimmy's bum crack, but you haven't seen the back of Kath & Kim.

By Holly Byrnes
January 12, 2007
The Daily Telegraph