BBC series 'Kumars' sold to NBC for 6m

MUMBAI: This piece of news should certainly interest Indian TV production houses looking to find a market for their programming beyond the traditional Indian Diaspora audience. Popular BBC comedy The Kumars at No 42, has been sold in the United States, where the Asian characters will be replaced by Mexicans.

US television network NBC has paid 6m to copy the formula and title of the Bafta-nominated spoof chat show devised by its host, the actor Sanjeev Bhaskar, The Independent has reported. 

The Kumars At No 42 revolves around Sanjeev Kumar (Sanjeev Bhaskar), a TV chat show host. His shows are filmed in a studio that is part of the house he shares with his family. The guests who appear on Sanjeev's chat show have to endure a pre-programme grilling from Sanjeev's father Ashwin (Vincent Ebrahim), mother Madhuri (Indira Joshi) and his grandmother Sushila (Meera Syal of Goodness Gracious Me fame). 

Kumar is the only son of a rich Indian family living in England. He wants to be a chat show host and become an international star. Towards that end his devoted parents bulldoze their back garden to build him a TV studio. The comedy revolves Kumar and the hilarious situations that arise out of his family's inquisitive nature and his efforts to keep the family from interfering while he is interviewing famous people. 

Jimmy Mulville, the joint managing director of the UK production company Hat Trick, which is to co-produce the show for NBC, has been quoted as saying: "We needed to identify the most successful immigrant population in the States. African-Americans are already well assimilated and we needed a socially mobile family. There are 25 million Hispanics in the States so we settled on Mexican-Americans."

Hat Trick, which makes the original BBC2 version of the show, hopes to sell the series to Hispanic stations. There are also plans to sell the series to Germany and replace the Kumars with a Turkish family because of the large number of Turkish immigrants to Germany, the report says.

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