TV comedy Absolutely Fabulous set for US makeover
Absolutely Fabulous, the hilarious TV comedy starring Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley, is having a US makeover for American audiences.
The 90s smash-hit documented the debauched shenanigans of Champagne-guzzling Patsy (Joanna Lumley) and her label-loving PR guru pal Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders). Julia Sawalha provided the voice of reason as Edina’s disapproving daughter, Saffy.
Saunders will act as executive producer on the US version, which will be based in LA and have a brand new cast.
The Fox remake will be headed up by the team behind US comedy Arrested Development, with Saturday Night Live’s scriptwriter Christine Zander on board.
This is the second time an attempt has been made to create an American version of the show, with a pilot featuring Roseanne Barr and Carrie Fisher failing to air ten years ago.
Executive producer of the BBC original, John Plowman, voiced his doubts about the likelihood of the show being a success in the States: ‘The trouble with doing Ab Fab in America is that it will have to end with Edina and Saffy hugging, Patsy giving up drink and drugs, and them all hugging mum. It won’t work. It’ll be too nice,’ he told Broadcast. ‘Let’s hope they get it right.’
Although some US remakes have proved a huge success – namely Steve Carrell’s version of Ricky Gervais’s David Brent in The Office – many others have flopped, including Fawlty Towers and Cold Feet.
Most recently, Little Britain USA has received some stone-cold reviews, with the Washington Post describing its sketches as ‘too tasteless even for a celebration of bad taste’, and Variety adding ‘the wit level of these over-the-top interludes seldom rises above what’s scrawled on a middle-school bathroom wall’.