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TV Note: Programs to look for

Tuesday, April 10, 2001

"AB FAB" RETURNS: Comedy Central announced Monday that six new episodes of the early '90s hit Britcom "Absolutely Fabulous" will debut in November. Production of the new season begins this month in England with Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders resuming their roles as Patsy and Edina.

Julia Sawalha returns as Edina's daughter, Saffie, who is now a "serious" actress. Jane Horrocks, who played Bubbles in the original series, will play a new character this time, Yitta Hilberstam, an Icelandic waitress.

The pilot for "Mirrorball," originally slated as a series to star the "Ab Fab" cast in new roles, will now air next year as a one-time-only special.

(Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor)

DIVAS: Jill Scott, Janet Jackson and Mary J. Blige are among the artists paying tribute -- or "Respect," if you will -- to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, tonight at 9 on VH1.

Other artists performing at Radio City Music Hall for the broadcast of "VH1 Divas Live: The One and Only Aretha Franklin" include Marc Anthony, Nelly Furtado and what has to be among the most unlikely pairings ever, a Franklin-Kid Rock duet.

For her part, Franklin told the Detroit News, "I loved the first 'Divas' but this one will be about three or four times better."

(Ed Masley, Post-Gazette Staff Writer)

"JUST" TWO MORE YEARS: NBC has renewed its Thursday night sitcom "Just Shoot Me" for two more seasons, keeping it on the air at least until May 2003.

(R.O.)

"GEOGRAPHIC" IN TOWN: Former WQED and KDKA producer Deborah Acklin, now a senior producer with "National Geographic Today," returned to the Pittsburgh area the past two weekends with National Geographic crews to tape several stories.

The first one, about making maple syrup in Meyersdale, Somerset County, will air tonight at 7 on "NGT." National Geographic Channel is available locally on AT&T and Adelphia cable systems' digital tiers.

As part of the program's "Great Neighborhoods" series, a feature on the Strip is expected to air April 20.

Upcoming "NGT" stories originating in Western Pennsylvania include a feature on the restoration of Fallingwater and an interview with Mister Rogers.

(R.O.)

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