Creator gets new deal for 'Kath' kickoff


Michelle Nader, creator/ executive producer of NBC's new comedy series "Kath & Kim," has inked a new two-year overall deal with series producer Universal Media Studios.

Under the seven-figure pact, Nader will focus on getting "Kath & Kim" off the ground. The series, whose order recently was expanded from six to 13 episodes, is slated to air in the plum 9:30 p.m. Thursday slot after "The Office" in the fall.

Based on the hit Australian series, "Kath & Kim," which UMS co-produces with Reveille, centers on the dysfunctional relationship between Kath (Molly Shannon), a cheerful, fortysomething divorcee, and her self-absorbed daughter, Kim (Selma Blair).

Nader's involvement in the project began a year ago when she got a call from then newly appointed executive vp Teri Weinberg, who asked her whether she would like a crack at adapting the format.

NBC originally had developed "Kath & Kim" with a different writer during the 2006-07 cycle. When Weinberg and her boss Ben Silverman left Reveille in June 2007 to join NBC, their first development move was to put "Kath & Kim" on the fast track with a new scribe. Nader got the attention of Weinberg with a comedy script she had written under her previous overall deal at UMS that bore similarities to "Kath & Kim," as it also centered on a strong mother. It revolved around three generations of single moms.

"It was an autobiographical project about a single mom who goes back to Philadelphia to live with her mom and her mom," Philly native Nader said. "I think that was the script that got me 'Kath & Kim.' "

UMS president Katherine Pope is not surprised things worked out so well for Nader.

"She has an absolutely unique combination of intelligence, laugh-out-loud humor and true toughness that only a girl from Philadelphia could possess," Pope said. "She was the only person Ben and Teri wanted for 'Kath & Kim.' "

Shortly after getting Nader's draft in the fall, Silverman and Weinberg greenlighted it to pilot. Following the casting of Shannon and Blair as the leads, NBC in February opted to forgo the pilot stage and go straight to series with a six-episode order. After the first episode filmed last month, the network upped the order to 13 episodes.

"For me, 'Kath & Kim' is one of those things that comes along, that is so perfect for what I want to write about," Nader said. "My relationship with my mother is the defining relationship of my life, and that is the essence of 'Kath & Kim.' "

Nader, whose series credits also include "Spin City," "Dharma & Greg" and "The King of Queens," is repped by ICM and attorney Ken Richman.(partialdiff)