23 February

The Kumars are returning to television in new format Meet The Kumars, which has been commissioned by US network Fox

Sanjeev Bhaskar, Meera Syal and Vincent Ebrahim reprise their characters, with Shaheen Khan joining as Sandjeev's new stepmum Rani

A pilot episode of new format Meet The Kumars is due to be filmed at BBC Elstree Studios on the evening of Wednesday 13th March 2024.

The Kumars are a well-off Indian family whose spoilt son Sanjeev fancies himself as a chat show host. The characters were first seen in The Kumars At No. 42, which launched on BBC Two in 2001 and ran for seven series up to 2006. The format saw Sanjeev interviewing real celebrities, whilst his family fussed around him. The characters then returned, via Sky, for a new series in 2014, titled The Kumars.

It's been confirmed that Sanjeev Bhaskar will return as Sanjeev for Meet The Kumars, with Meera Syal as Ummi and Vincent Ebrahim as Dad. Shaheen Khan will join the cast as Rani, Sandjeev's new stepmum.

Deadline reports that this new version has been commissioned by Fox, the American network, which is currently eyeing international expansion.

"We all remember the Kumars and their only son Sanjeev's dreams of being a famous chat show host. How his obliging parents bulldozed the garden at their modest family home to build him a TV studio and make his dreams come true, whilst also (along with his unconventional grandmother) insisting on embarrassing him in front of every guest. Yet over the years, the great and the good from the worlds of stage, screen and sport flocked to be on The Kumars' show. And now, the mischievous family has returned! A little older, more experienced but none the wiser."

Jimmy Mulville from producers Hat Trick told Deadline: "We're thrilled to be working with Fox on this presentation and look forward to introducing our much loved Kumars family to an American audience."

Michael Thorn from Fox commented: "I think the storytelling with this hybrid format is so unique, and it's something that the original team, with Sanjeev, Meera and Hat Trick, they had a vision for how to do this show. What usually works is supporting the vision and allowing that vision to come through as specifically as strongly as possible as opposed to having someone else adapt their show because the only version that's really resonated for people was the original.

"So our instinct was, rather than try to get someone to replicate their magic, go to the source and let this brilliant team do it themselves. They have a very simple and specific way to capture the original magic but also feel like it will play for a US domestic audience in a way that feels surprising and, hopefully, on-point for a Fox viewer."

Discussing Meet The Kumars being filmed in front of a live audience, Thorn added: "We really believe in the multi-camera format", adding "We wish we had more multi-cam pitches, especially the ones that felt bold and broad and surprising. They're just few and far between in the marketplace right now. That's just the reality of it. But we still believe in the format if it's the right show for us."