Picks and Pans Review: The Kumars at No. 42

UPDATED 09/06/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 09/06/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT

BBC America (Sundays, 9 p.m. ET)
COMEDY

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Though FOX scrubbed an American version planned for last season, this popular British series will tickle you in its U.S. premiere Aug. 29.

The Kumars, an Indian family in London, have a talk show in their home studio. Grown son Sanjeev (Sanjeev Bhaskar) is the host, but his mother (Indira Joshi), father (Vincent Ebrahim) and grandmother (Meera Syal, a 40ish actress made up to look 80), interrupt freely as he chats with celebs. Part improvised and part scripted, the show gives saucy Granny a large share of the laughs, and opening guests Richard E. Grant and Michael Parkinson (a veteran British talk host) clearly enjoy her. But by the second episode, featuring Donny Osmond, The Kumars seems a bit like an overextended Saturday Night Live sketch.

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