American adaptations of British sitcoms are certainly nothing new, and they can range from good (The Office), to decent (Three's Company), to horrific (Coupling). Considering this television history, you might think that an American adaptation of a British sitcom has a sporting chance of being at least as watchable (if not more so) than the original, and for the most part you'd be right. Unless, of course, FOX was planning to remake the seminal 1990s Brit-com Absolutely Fabulous, or something. But they'd never do that, right?
From Variety :
Fox is developing a redo of Jennifer Saunders' enduring Britcom "Absolutely Fabulous," to be exec produced by Mitch Hurwitz, Eric Tannenbaum and Kim Tannenbaum for Sony Pictures TV, Tantamount and BBC Worldwide America. Christine Zander ("Saturday Night Live") is set to write the script and will exec produce along with the BBC's Ian Moffet and original series creator Saunders.
The latest attempt at a U.S. rendition of "Ab Fab" will be transplanted to L.A. but retain the basic template of the original, revolving around the friendship of two boozy, over-40 best friends who are desperate to stay hip and youthful and who carry on under the disapproving eye of Edina's teenage daughter, Saffy.
Of course, this remake has a few things going for it, like the participation of AbFab's creator, Jennifer Saunders, and the involvement of Arrested Development's Mitch Hurwitz. But this American AbFab also has several things going against it, like: the fact that many Americans are very familiar with the original AbFab since it aired on Comedy Central, the passage of time and its ravaging effects on humor, the city of Los Angeles as a wellspring for TV humor (it works for Larry David, but not really anyone else–See: Entourage), and of course the fact that it's 2008, not 1995. A lot of what made Absolutely Fabulous funny was very much tied to a specific time (the 90s) and place (London), not to mention the shock value of these middle-aged characters boozing and drugging and yelling "Abort!" and desperately trying to stay cool. It'll be interesting to see how, or if, the show can shift to present-day L.A. and still be as hilariously shocking.
Worst case scenario: FOX's Absolutely Fabulous will seem more like a remake of the short-lived CBS AbFab rip-off, High Society–and nobody wants that: