12 Oct 2008

Americans switching on to Kath and Kim

7:45 am on 12 October 2008

The critics may have been scathing but Americans are lapping up their own version of Kath & Kim, initial ratings show.

The new NBC sitcom based on Australia's beloved Kath & Kim series made an impressive ratings debut in the US on Friday night, beating Ugly Betty and a major baseball game.

"Nice bow for Kath & Kim," Hollywood trade magazine Variety said.

This was despite The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the New York Post and most other major US publications writing off the show. The Australian original is highly popular in New Zealand.

The show, famous for its "look at moi" catchphrase, came second in the key 18-49 age group, behind CBS' long-running reality show, Survivor.

The key to the survival of Kath & Kim will be next week's ratings numbers and whether the critically maligned pilot episode was entertaining enough to attract American audiences for a second taste.

NBC's version is set in suburban Florida and stars former Saturday Night Live comedienne Molly Shannon as Kath and Selma Blair as self-absorbed Kim.