I received a hot tip over the weekend that NBC in-house is finally going to adapt Sex And The City author Candace Bushnell’s 2005 book Lipstick Jungle into an hour-long TV comedy. Now, Broadcasting & Cable as well as Variety are confirming today that NBC Universal Television Studio will be doing it. This follows on the heels of recent reports I’ve read that Kim Cattrall is supposedly saying she would do a Sex And The City movie version (after she nixed the idea even though a great script had already been written). Hopefully, Bushnell’s NBC deal is better than her $$$ for Sex (see below). Book reviewers said Bushnell’s Lipstick Jungle picked up where Sex And The City (adapted from Bushnell’s 1994-originating New York Observer column of the same name) left off “in the money-soaked, power-hungry, beauty-obsessed jungle that is New York City. This time around, the ladies are a bit older, a lot richer, but not particularly wiser nor more endearing than Bushnell’s earlier heroines.” There are three women this time, all high on ”New York’s 50 Most Powerful Women” list. Nico is editor-in-chief of Bonfire magazine, Wendy is president of Paradour Pictures, and Victory is a fashion designer. There’s new boardroom tales but also the same racy bedroom antics and gender flipping roles. Bushnell herself told Amazon.com that the characters and situations in Lipstick Jungle “were inspired by the real-life women I know and admire in New York City. As with Sex And The City, I spent a lot of time thinking about where women were today, and what I noticed was that there was a fascinating group of women in their forties who were leading non-traditional lives. They were highly successful and motivated, they often had children, and usually were the providers for their families, and yet, they didn’t fit the old stereotype of the witchy businesswoman.” NBC thinks this show about fortysomethings could be its answer to ABC’s Desperate Housewives which has grown stale this season. In the works for a year until script problems scuttled the production plans, Lipstick Jungle‘s most recent teleplay is the new third draft by DeAnn Heline and Elaine Heisler who’ll serve as exec producers, according to Variety. As for Bushnell, everyone thinks she made a mint off Sex And The City at HBO and in syndication. But lore has it that Bushnell sold the rights to Sex And The City producer Darren Star for a mere $60,000 way back in 1996. Asked about her payday from the deal, Bushnell back in 2005 confirmed to Radar that she’d taken the opportunity to cash out long before Sex And The City took off and said it was “highly unlikely” that she’d ever see a dime from its syndication. Interesting that, at one point, Darren Star tried to buy the TV rights to Lipstick Jungle, too, but the deal went south. No doubt, a kiss-off. Instead, ABC has ordered Cashmere Mafia from him and Working Girl writer Kevin Wade, which is described as “the next generation of Sex and the City.” ABC has also picked up Women’s Murder Club, to be directed by Brett Ratner, which revolves around a quartet of crime-solving women and has a logline of “CSI meets Sex and the City.”
Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke - tip her here.