Hey, Patsy and Edina, pop open a bottle of Bolli! Another one, that is. With the third and final season of Absolutely Fabulous starting on Comedy Central June 12, the politically incorrect British sitcom is poised to have an intoxicatingly good summer. Or at least a well-hyped one.
Costars Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley who play the show's booze-guzzling best friends have been making the publicity rounds for the upcoming episodes in which the duo invade New York. (Watch for Edina's navel piercing on St. Mark's Place.) A slightly bewildered David Letterman had the pair over recently, 60 Minutes did a segment on them, and on June 5, Comedy Central will air a half-hour AbFab special, with Liz Taylor and Bette Midler offering kissy-kiss congratulations.
''We're expecting AbFab to blow the doors off,'' says Bob Kreek, president and CEO of Comedy Central, which saw its regular ratings triple during last summer's AbFab marathon. ''The mayhem continues.''
Although the series will end this year, addicts will soon get their fixes other ways. Saunders is currently scripting a movie, and for those who don't speak the Queen's English, a domestic version may soon land on network TV from American-TV-rights owner Roseanne. The U.S. cast: brunette Barbara Carrera, a James Bond villainess, as the aggressively blond Patsy, and Carrie Fisher, a recovering alcoholic, as the champagne-swilling Edina.
Though Roseanne isn't talking about her plans, some AbFab purists think the show will be Disney-ized. ''Americans seem to like sympathetic characters in their sitcoms,'' says Gerard Jones, author of the sitcom history Honey, I'm Home. Both Sanford and Son and All in the Family were based on British comedies, he says, and both were sanitized. ''I would look for less grotesque characters.''
A.J. Jacobs, with reporting by Pat H. Broeske and Irv Letofsky