With the last series of My Family starting later this month, In With The Flynns picks up the sitcom baton and sprints off with it.

Weirdly, both series have American roots. My Family was created by Fred Barron, while The Flynns is executive produced by Caryn Mandabach whose name you'll have seen attached to such monoliths as Roseanne, 3rd Rock from the Sun and Nurse Jackie.

This is a British version of her US show Grounded for Life and it's written by George Jeffrie and Bert Tyler-Moore - the two big comedy brains behind Pete Versus Life and Star Stories.

Where My Family feels forced and artificial to the point of being almost physically painful to watch, In With The Flynns, with its seamless use of flashbacks, is much more relaxed.

Set in Manchester, it stars Will Mellor and Niky Wardley as Liam and Caroline, the harassed young parents of a teenage daughter Chloe and two younger sons.

Warren Clarke plays Liam's dad Jim and Liam's brother Tommy is played by Craig Parkinson - who you'll recognise as the only probation worker to survive the Asbo Five in Misfits.

With Liam and Caroline too busy to keep a proper eye on their kids, it's left to Tommy this week to give them the benefits of his worldly wisdom.

If you're a fan of Seinfeld, you'll probably spot that Tommy has a touch of the Kramer about him - he is a law unto himself and completely Teflon coated so that blame never sticks.

Judging from this first outing, The Flynns could be with us for even longer than My Family has managed.

Jane Simon, The Mirror, 8th June 2011

Despite a promising set-up - ineffectual Jimmy (Nicholas Lyndhurst) gets stuck with his interfering mother-in-law Diane (Celia Imrie) after his wife leaves him - this sitcom never tickles the ribs as much as creator Fred Barron's wildly popular My Family. That said, this first episode of season three, in which Jimmy tries to wrestle a measure of independence back by attempting to parent without Diane's help, has its moments.

Gerard O'Donovan, The Telegraph, 13th September 2008

Nicholas Lyndhurst plays a bloke forced to live with his mother-in-law. There are too many reasons to despise this sitcom; it's created by Fred Barron (who also gave us My Family) and the theme song is performed by Jamie Cullum... need I go on? Outdated, outmoded, old hat and laugh-free. But like My Family, a ratings hit.

Lorna Cooper, MSN Entertainment, 12th August 2008