Saunders Absolutely Back on BBC America


Pasadena, Calif. -- Comic favorite Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous) is returning to BBC America with some of her fellow comics, such as Dawn French and Joanna Lumbly, but in a much less “fabulous” setting.

The network will also play host to a reworking of the Robin Hood legend, as well as screening a six-part conspiracy thriller, The State Within.

Saunders wrote and will star in Clatterford,a comedy series set around a women’s club in a small British town, not unlike the area in which Saunders actually lives, she told reporters at the Television Critics Association Tour here. The series will begin March 9.

At the panel session, the most pointed questions were directed to the performers and writers of the thriller. Those who had viewed part of the series, which will debut

Feb. 17, questioned whether the U.S. government officials would be the villains of the piece.

The program depicts a commercial airliner crashing over Washington, D.C. -- a disaster that appears to be an act of terrorism. That scene lead to questions of the type that dogged the release of the Sept. 11-themed United 93 movie -- whether it is still too soon to show planes crashes in popular entertainment.

Writer Daniel Percival said no images should be taboo. “Sadly, it’s going to happen again,” he added. “Unless we can resolve [terrorist acts], if we ever can.”

Regarding the villain of the piece, actor Jason Isaacs pleaded that he and others couldn’t give too many details of the “labyrinthine plot” for fear of untangling one of the threads of the mystery of the movie. He insisted, however, that “liars” are the bad guys in the miniseries.