Fox to pilot US version of Ab Fab

Fox is to develop a pilot for a US version of hit BBC comedy Absolutely Fabulous after it struck a deal with BBC Worldwide and Sony Pictures Television.

The US network has ordered a pilot pickup for the comedy, which starred Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders as a pair of embarrassing fashion publicists. The show is to be written by Christine Zander, writer and producer of hit ABC comedy Samantha Who? and exec produced by Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz, who runs producer Tantamount, and BBC Worldwide’s VP, programming and content strategy Ian Moffitt.

US networks have tried a number of times to remake Absolutely Fabulous, which ran on the BBC in the early nineties, but this is the first time an effort has made it to pilot. Rosanne Barr and Carrie Fisher developed a version for ABC in the nineties, while Cybill Shephard’s CBS comedy Cybill was based on a similar idea.

The original show also aired on Comedy Central in the US.

Scripted comedy formats are becoming a burgeoning business in the US; BBC comedy Worst Week has become a hit for CBS, while HBO is currently developing a local version of Baby Cow Productions’ black comedy Sensitive Skin, which also stars Joanna Lumley.

Fox is also currently working on a US version of Raymond Allen comedy Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em with BBC Worldwide America and Sony Pictures Television.