The CW Might Have Sex In A Different City

When Sex and the City premiered on HBO in the summer of 1998, I was a 7 year old boy in a house without cable television. And, while I’d convinced my parents to subscribe to cable by the time it concluded its run in the winter of 2004, I still fell squarely outside of its target demographic. A few years back, I made a concerted effort to watch the show, because of its cultural impact. After consuming the first season, I put the show down and have never felt particularly compelled to revisit it. Likewise, I’ve made no effort to see either of the two feature films that have been produced.

Unlike many of the show’s critics, I wasn’t really bothered by Sex and the City‘s anti-feminism stance; I simply found the show to be decidedly unfunny. So, it may seem odd that I, of all people, am defending The CW’s decision to develop The Carrie Diaries. Still, the decision makes a great deal of sense for the fledgling network. The Carrie Diaries is bound to skew much younger than anything HBO currently airs, and corporate sibling The CW is desperately in need of a breakout hit.

When former CW chief Dawn Ostroff announced plans for a reboot the popular Beverley Hills, 90210 in March of 2008, fans of the long running series were up in arms. The decision to greenlight 90210 was a gamble for The CW, one that has yielded incredibly mixed results. Premiere numbers for 90210 were strong, but viewership has continued to erode over the show’s three seasons. In 2009, The CW launched both the ill-fated Melrose Place reboot and an adaption of The Vampire Diaries, which has gone on to become the network’s biggest hit. As with all three of those shows, The Carrie Diaries, has a built in audience. In fact, The Carrie Diaries has two built-in audiences, fans of the novels and fans of Sex and the City. If executed properly, it could be a self-starter and help bring eyeballs to the network. Lest we forget that some of The WB’s biggest hits were reboots and adaptions. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a reboot; Roswell was adapted from a popular series of young adult novels; and Smallville was a retelling of the Superman mythos.

Since Deadline broke the news on Tuesday, I’ve seen two recurring grievances with this theoretical series: (1) Was Carrie Bradshaw’s life interesting enough at 17 to warrant a series? & (2) Can The CW can house such a sexually charged show? Both of these issues are perplexing to me. If Candace Bushnell thought that Carrie’s teenage years were interesting enough to write a series of novels about, and those novels have garnered favorable reviews, then why wouldn’t a TV series be equally interesting? As for the other criticism, The CW is known for its sexually racy content. No, as a broadcast network, The CW cannot get away with the graphic nudity that HBO does. However, seeing as how Sarah Jessica Parker never once went nude for Sex and the City, the point moot.

All of this is a long way of saying that we shouldn’t be so quick to judge The Carrie Diaries. It may never go to series, heck it may never shoot a pilot. But, even if it does wind up on The CW’s fall schedule in 2012, there’s nothing to say that Josh Schwartz, Steph Savage and Amy Harris won’t be able to cook up a show that is both faithful to the legacy of Sex and the City and fresh at the same time.

PS: What do y’all think about Sara Paxton for the role of Young Carrie? Let me know in the comment section.

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