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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 May, 2003, 18:19 GMT 19:19 UK
Kumars remake wins top US slot
Kumars at No 42
NBC originally planned to make a version of The Kumars at No 42

The US version of the BBC comedy The Kumars at No 42 is to get a prestigious autumn slot on the Fox Channel.

The show, called The Ortegas, will follow either The Simpsons or sitcom Malcolm in the Middle, two of the most popular shows on US TV.

The prime scheduling decision comes after a tug of war between Fox and NBC, which had originally licensed the show from its makers, British production company Hat Trick.

The show, which stars Sanjeev Bhaskar and Meera Syal in the UK, is a spoof chat show where the host is often embarrassed by his interfering family.

The US version replaces the Indian Kumars with a Hispanic family, the Ortegas, to make it more relevant to American viewers.

NBC had originally agreed to make a non-broadcast pilot of the show. It agreed with Hat Trick that any resulting series would be shown in the important autumn season.


But NBC later said it would show the series in summer, when audiences are smaller.

Hat Trick now stands to make $1.25m (806,000) from a compensation payout, as well as several million more from Fox's production deal.

Donny Osmond and Sanjeev Bhaskar
Donny Osmond (left) has been one of the guests on the show

The remake of the show follows a US version of Hat Trick's Whose Line is it Anyway?, shown on the ABC network.

"It's very big news for us," said Denise O'Donoghue, co-founder of Hat Trick.

"I think it will be the first time that a British production company has two shows on at the same time on two American networks," she told the Media Guardian internet site.

The Kumars has already made waves in the US, having won an International Emmy last year.

The show has been a massive hit in the UK, with a nomination for best entertainment programme at this year's Bafta awards.

An Australian version, called The Greeks on the Roof, started in Australia last week.

Living with the Kumars
17 Mar 03  |  TV and Radio
Bafta TV Awards: The shortlist
17 Mar 03  |  TV and Radio
Kumars land Emmy award
26 Nov 02  |  TV and Radio
BBC comedy in bidding war
02 Aug 02  |  TV and Radio
Bhaskar takes the limelight
22 Nov 02  |  Film

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