Tag Archives: Jennifer Saunders

TV Newsround: Magic, Mars, Heche gets Hung, Ab Fab Casting and Some Players


The Colour Of Magic, the TV mini-series based on the first two books in Terry Pratchett‘s Discworld series, will air in the US on the ION Television network on March 22. It had previously been scheduled to air last November.

The two-part adaptation (which runs to 189 minutes without adverts) first aired in the UK on Sky One last March. It stars Only Fools And Horses’ David Jason as hopeless, cowardly wizard Rincewind and Lord Of The Rings’ Sean Astin as Twoflower, the Discworld’s first tourist. The cast also includes Tim Curry and Christopher Lee.

The mini-series was generally well-received when broadcast in the UK, with most critics agreeing it was an improvement over Sky One’s previous Pratchett adaptation, The Hogfather (which also starred David Jason, though in a different role).

Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas has updated fans about the state of play on the movie sequel to the Kristen Bell drama that he recently said was possibly in the works.

He told Entertainment Weekly that the script was almost finished and added: “It’s close. A few key details left to solve.

“I’m preparing the pitch now – literally now. I hope to go in and talk to [executive producer] Joel Silver and [Warner Brothers] in the next week or two to see if they’re interested.”

However, he stressed that a movie was anything but certain: “I’m going to give it my best shot and let the chips fall where they may…It’s entirely possible I won’t have an answer at the end of the pitch.

“They will want to consider [the pitch] … then, if they want to move forward, there’s the deal-making that’ll need to go on.”

Former Men In Trees actress Anne Heche has joined the cast of HBO’s new dark comedy Hung. She will play the ex-wife of Thomas Jane‘s lead character, a high-school basketball coach whose life is a mess but who one thing going for him: he’s very well-endowed. Heche is taking over the role from Kristin Bauer, who played it in the original pilot.

Revoltionary Road actress Kathryn Hahn has landed the lead role in the previously announced pilot of the US remake of Absolutely Fabulous. She will star as Eddie (played by series creator Jennifer Saunders in the UK original) alongside Third Rock From the Sun’s Kristen Johnstonas Patsy (played by Joanna Lumley in the British show).

Spike TV has ordered 10 episodes of Players, a half-hour sitcom about two “odd couple” brothers who run a sports bar, created by and starring Matt Walsh.

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Pilot Watch: Witches, AbFab, Trauma, Mercy, Tick Tock


Here’s a quick round up of the latest pilots to get the go-ahead in the States.

NBC

Trauma: No doubt with one eye on finding a replacement for ER, the network is considering this drama set in the  the high-energy world of medical emergencies out in the field.

Mercy: Written by Liz Heldens, the show is a medical drama that follows the highs and lows of the lives of three close friends who are nurses.
Heldens writing credits include three seasons on NBC’s Friday Night Lights.

ABC

The Witches Of Eastwick:  Light fantasy based on the John Updike novel, and the 1987 movie, about three women who develop supernatural powers after a mysterious man arrives in their their small town.
It’s the second attempt at a small-screen version of the story – a pilot was shot for Fox in 2002, starring future Desperate Housewives star Marcia Cross, but never became a series.


Fox

Absolutely Fabulous: An American version of the rude ‘n’ crude 90s British sitcom about the boozy excesses of shallow, selfish fashion publicist Edina (Jennifer Saunders) and equally narcissistic magazine editor Patsy (Joanna Lumley), much to the disgust of Edina’s disapproving, straight-laced daughter, Saffron (Julia Sawalha).
Saunders created, wrote and starred in the original and is an is an executive producer on the US version. Former Saturday Night Live and Third Rock From the Sun writer Christine Zander will provide the script, which will set the show in Los Angeles.
AbFab ran for 36 episodes in the UK and is a cult hit in the States. Given the tendency of American remakes of foreign shows (Kath & Kim, for example) to make brash characters more likable and sympathetic and to lose the more grotesque aspects (the original Edina and Patsy were exceptionally grotesque and unsympathetic), it’s questionable how faithful the US version will be to the original.

CBS

Tick Tock: Comedy about a thirtysomething single mother who decides to focus her attention on finding true love.

See Also: High-Flying Fox Orders Seven New Pilots and Networks Fly Into A Pilot Frenzy.

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