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BBC America Sets Date for Jennifer Saunders' "Clatterford"

Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley are back... though they're not quite as absolutely fabulous this time around.

Digital cabler BBC America has announced a launch date for its latest programming acquisition, Clatterford (which aired in the UK under the title Jam & Jerusalem), from the fertile mind of Ab Fab creator Jennifer Saunders.

Series, which reunites the Absolutely Fabulous pairing of Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley, will kick off on Friday, March 9th at 9 pm ET/10 pm PT.

Saunders, who wrote and executive produces Clatterford, stars as Caroline, whom the BBC America press materials refer to as "a very busy lady of the countryside." (Just look at that jaunty hat sitting positively askew on her head; if she's not a busybody, then I'll eat that hat with HP sauce gladly.) However, it's nearly impossible to recognize the former Patsy Stone herself, Joanna Lumley, who plays a rather terrifying-looking eccentric old woman named Delilah prone to riding her training wheel-laden bicycle around town. Bollinger champagne and Lacroix threads this certainly isn't.

Clatterford also offers a virtual who's who of British comedy actresses, including: Dawn French (The Vicar of Dibley and Saunder's longtime comedy partner) who plays the well-intentioned Rosie who suffers from multiple personality disorder (her alter ego is someone named Margaret); Sue Johnston (The Royle Family and the brilliant Waking the Dead) as Sal, a newly widowed woman and former community nurse; and Pauline McLynn (Father Ted) as Sal's best friend Tip.

These highly eccentric women form the local women's club in a small English town called (you guessed it) Clatterford. Sally Phillips (I'm Alan Partridge) and David Mitchell (Peep Show) also star.

I've already gone and marked my calendar in bright red ink. It's not every day that Jennifer Saunders launches a new comedy, though it's one of two this year, the other being the The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle, starring Saunders and Miranda Richardson, which is set to bow Stateside later in 2007.

Just how lucky can one Anglophile get?


Anonymous said…
Do you know if and when the Absolutely Fabulous Christmas special, titled "White Box" might air in the U.S. or come out on DVD?
Anonymous said…
I'm afraid you're in for a major dissapointment as all of Britain was with 'Jam & Jerusalem'. The name change ain't gonna save it.
Anonymous said…
Clatterford, aka Jam & Jerusalem, which started airing in late December, and ran through January on BBC America was wonderful. When the dvd was released last week I ran out to get a copy the same day it hit store shelves.

Perhaps if you were looking for an AbFab redux that explains your disappointment, but this series was wonderful. The ensemble cast was fantastic as well. Everyone I know, online and off were in love with it from the get go and are hoping for a second series of this.
Anonymous said…
Clatterford is the most unique interpretation of womankind that I have ever seen on the screen. Usually one only runs into charactors like that at work, at church or next door. I believe that those folks with maybe a differant language or accent could be found in Germany, Australia or in my neighborhood, Oklahoma. Thanks Jennifer for the "no apoligies necessary," painting of friends that I feel I know very well.
Anonymous said…
No I didn't want abfab redux. It was a fantastic script but a creatively moribund script.
Anonymous said…
-fantastic cast but a creatively moribund script.-

Here in the UK it seemed like fun to write about the WI and village eccentrics. But it failed to live up to its promise. It showed the problem that has occurred in UK TV recently of large deals for big names then actually finding vehicles for them. Usually this leads to poor shows, with J. Saunders writing this it seemed to promise something more than these lackluster projects but for the domestic audience it came across as lazy and cliched after a long run of these kinds of shows from established talents. In isolation and for overseas audiences it could be fun, but please don't condemn us to another series.
Anglophile said…
I think the Clatterford series is the best thing to hit BBC America since Vicar of Dibley. I actually came to care about those women and want to see how their lives turn out. Am longing for series 3 to come out on dvd.
As Rosie would say, "yea, bring it on!"

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