'Ab Fab' Remake Gets Green Light at FOX
ABC, NBC also make pilot orders
The network has handed out a pilot order for a remake of the classic Britcom, with series co-creator/star Jennifer Saunders involved as an executive producer. It headlines the latest list of pilot pickups, which also include a mystery called "Happy Town" at ABC and a medical drama called "Trauma" at NBC, the showbiz trade papers report.
"Ab Fab," the tale of two besotted best friends (Saunders and Joanna Lumley) debuted on the BBC in 1992 and aired on and off through 2004. It also gained a cult following in this country through airings on Comedy Central, PBS and BBC America. Its popularity led to several stabs at Americanized versions of the show, notably a mid-'90s project produced by Roseanne Barr that was to star Carrie Fisher.
Neither that project, nor any other remake, ever made it as far as filming a pilot, although the show did seem to be a pretty clear inspiration for series like "Cybill" and CBS' short-lived "High Society."
The new version is being written by Christine Zander, whose credits include "3rd Rock from the Sun" and "Saturday Night Live." Zander will also exec produce, along with Saunders, Ian Moffitt, Mitch Hurwitz ("Arrested Development") and Kim and Eric Tannenbaum ("Two and a Half Men").
Elsewhere, ABC's "Happy Town" is a mystery set in a small community that has just experienced its first serious crime in years. "Life on Mars" executive producers Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg wrote the script and will executive produce.
NBC's "Trauma," written by Dario Scardapane, is a drama that follows the men and women who treat medical emergencies in the field. It's the second medical pilot the network has picked up in recent days, following a drama about nurses called "Mercy."