Filming Begins On The US Remake Of ‘Absolutely Fabulous’

Oh No!

Last October we learned that the brilliant British comedy Absolutely Fabulous was gettin’ a US make-over and would be remade here in America. At the time, there was no word on casting but we were told that production on the series had entered the early production stages and might be ready for 2009. Today we get our first look at filming of the series with Kristen Johnston (3rd Rock from the Sun) in the role of Patsy and Kathryn Hahn (Crossing Jordan) in the role of Edina:


Um … HMMM. On the one hand, they’ve got the costumes down … but I just cannot imagine how the show will be able to retain it’s amazingly hilarious humor after it has been Americanized. Trust me, I’m not knocking American humor … there are some things we do better than anyone else (Friends, for example) but there are other things that we do not (the US version of Kath & Kim still pales in comparison to the original Aussie version). I am very worried that this new venture will fall flat on its face. The only encouraging thing I’ve heard about this remake is that original series creator Jennifer Saunders (Edina) is executive producing. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. I’m really skeptical. The original AbFab is just so damn good … I’m not sure it’ll translate to an American audience and still have the same success. What do y’all think … do any of y’all have faith that this remake will work?

[Photo credit: Splash News]

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  1. Annie

    I definitely think they did a good job casting.

  2. Ford

    I hope it does well…I LOVE the British version..and I really like Kathryn Hahn

  3. Janet

    Sorry, but this just seems like a bad idea. AbFab is one of my all-time favorites…would hate to see it done badly.

  4. zachary

    I really like the casting too. I was skeptical at first because I love the original like everyone else, but after seeing Kathryn Hahn (cracked me up in Step-Brothers!) and Kristen Johnston cast, I think I’ll give it a chance.
    Do you think they’ll keep Patsy’s “Sweetie darling” line she always uses? It was one of my favorite elements to the original, but I can’t imagine it being as funny with an American saying it…

  5. Mr. Gyllenhaal

    I was worried about this show from the beginning but I think this casting might actually pull it off! I actually have hope for it now and I kind of want to see it! Kristen Johnston is hilarious and I think she can pull it off. That said, nothing will be as good as the original!

  6. Lin

    I agree. PERFECT casting… of course, not as perfect as the original. Nothing will ever beat the OrigAbFab.

  7. meme

    NO NO NO NO NO A THOUSAND TIMES NO.

  8. Julie

    Trent, I would have to argue that Coupling (the original BBC version) is probably their version of Friends and is much better. Then we went ahead and tried to copy Coupling and botched that up entirely. Regarding AbFab, the cast is good. It won’t compare to the original, obviously, but might stand a chance on it’s own. Just like some movies adapted from books can be good…until compared with the book, at which point the films become weak.

  9. Kendra

    I had no idea who Kathryn Hahn was until I read Zachary’s post..She WAS awesome in Step-Brothers..I think the casting is pretty good and with Jennifer Saunders on board, I think it’ll work! I highly doubt it’ll be anything close to the original, but I don’t think it’ll fail..I hope it doesn’t, at least..I think I’ll whip out my DVDs and watch a few episodes today!

  10. wendell

    I just think they cast a bit young, but that’s just me. It works better if they are a little older. That being said, I am very excited to see if they can pull it off. AbFab is one of the best shows EVER!

  11. Katikins

    Doesn’t anyone in Hollywood have any original ideas anymore??? Yeah, I’m on the NO side of this. Don’t mess with my AbFab! I love you Jennifer Saunders, but WHY…oh wait…money! Oy.

  12. Roberto

    Wow… I LOVE and I mean L-O-V-E the original. It’ll be hard to compare.

    I feel that no matter what it’ll fall short. A big part of the show were the accents, I can’t see those going away.

    -R

  13. Tiffany

    Three words: “Oh Heeeeeeeell Noooooo!!” You can’t touch the original AbFab! This has disaster written all over it!

  14. rossy

    The US hasn’t a great track record when it comes to remaking British shows, although they have struck gold sometimes – i.e. All in the Family (Till Death Us Do Part); Three’s Company (Man About the House); Queer As Folk (same)… Here’s the link if anybody’s interested:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_British_television_series_remade_for_the_U.S._market
    -
    That said, does ANYBODY know who’s tapped to play Edina’s long-suffering daughter, Saffron, or airhead assistant, Bubble? Two very difficult roles.

  15. SPIguy

    I’m on the NO side of the fence .. both actresses are excellent but seriously, what made that show a riot will not translate on this side of the pond. Smoking will probably be the biggest issue, along with the drugs and drinking.

    I’ll give the show a try but I’m not holding out much hope that it will succeed

  16. amanda

    NO NO NO NO NO!!! i LOVE the original AbFab and there is NO WAY an American version could do it justice. Aside from the casting, there is so much in the way of plot that, while legal in England, would not pass the censors in America. All the ridiculous child abuse (poor Saffron!) especially would have to be re-worked and, imho, could never be done as entertainingly.

  17. Lindsay

    I’m just ticked that they made us wait so gosh darn long for this.

  18. Dani

    I really don’t think it will be anywhere near as good. The cast was perfection, and the humor perfect. It just won’t be the same, but because Jennifer Saunders is producing, I’m going to give it a chance.

  19. geana

    oh no!! they are going to ruin ab fab!!! i love this show, actually i love about 99% of the shows on the BBC and i got my husband addicted to this one!! if they ruin it by remaking it im gonna be sad!!

  20. Megan

    =( Noooo. No no no no. AbFab is amazing, it should be left alone. I can’t see this being good.

  21. Amy

    I don’t know how I feel; I agree, a big part of AbFab’s hilarity was the accents, the smoking, the drugs! However if they give it an American irreverence, it could work. But they should keep it dirty!
    (On another note, Bubbles always annoyed me!)

  22. lambman

    I agree with Julie,

    Coulpling was a UK ripoff of Friends, but at least in the first few seasons is far funnier…the US Coupling was sooooo terrible, except Lindsay Price made an excellent Jane…the rest sucked

  23. Paul

    I like that Kristen Johnson will have played a character who used to be a man in two TV shows now. :-P

  24. Paul

    Also, I think US Kath & Kim is waaaaay better than the Australian.

  25. mike

    I love american comedy like you say friends etc…but I really really wish they would leave foreign comedy the eff alone, they just butcher classic shows…I don’t think it would make much difference if they were executive producers…werent gina riley and jane turner executive producers of kath and kim???

    If they touch the vicr of dibley I will cut myself!!! grr

  26. Emily

    Katie Hahn is a phenomenal actress. So underrated. So fantastically talented.

  27. Mel

    NOOOOO!!! The only decent British remake they’ve managed in the states is The Office. It’s such a classic show, I don’t see how they can even think it’ll be good. That would be like trying to make a British version of Seinfeld! ACK!!

  28. Traci

    Well, Patsy looks perfect, not so sure about Edina though.
    I hated Friends, but Coupling, which is the British version, is sooo good.
    It can’t be any worse than a lot of remakes though, like Red Dwarf, or Fawlty Towers, ugh. At least the Spaced remake never made it off the ground, that one was infuriating.

  29. Michelle

    I really am interested to see how we do with this remake. I freaking loved Ab Fab back in the day when it was on all the time. That show was so funny and over the top and I think the whole Britishness of the series just added to the hilarity. I agree with Trent that there are some things we just get right (and whole heartedly thank you for citing FRIENDS, which is my favorite show EVER) and agree that it’s going to be completely interesting… those are two funny ladies so we will see what happens!

    Oh and Jennifer Saunders and FRIENDS reminded me of the ep she guest-starred in back in Season 4… classic!

  30. I predict a total flop. For one, they casted the big boned chick from Third Rock, Kristen Johnston, as Patsy!!!

    Did they ever watch the UK version!

    Patsy is an ex model that just parties, smokes and drinks that famously replied to Edina that she hasnt eaten since 1973.

    These are thin pants that Johnston needs to fill!!

  31. And a reply to Paul (above) Patsy was NEVER EVER a man! Dont know where you got that??

  32. gokarm

    I think if it’s in the same language, why does it need to be “re-made”? I mean, I understand the 6,000 versions of Ugly Betty for each language, but Absolutely Fabulous is IN ENGLISH.How is this different from just out and out plagarism?

  33. SweetieDarling

    Patsy was a man, baby. The episode where they go to Morocco reveals that she had a sex change and lived as mustache-wearing dude for a while, but as Eddy says, “it fell off.”
    Back to the pics, why do they look like they are going to an AbFab costume party?

  34. I Love Ongina

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. DO. NOT. WANT. More importantly– DO. NOT. NEED.

  35. kimba

    Great casting and Jennifer Sauders as exec. producer, is it, gives reason to believe the American version will have a chance. ~ Kimba

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