EXCLUSIVE: One of the most iconic comedy series of the past two decades, HBO’s Sex and the City, is getting a followup, which examines love and dating after 50. In a competitive situation, Paramount Television and Anonymous Content have acquired the rights to Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell’s upcoming book Is There Still Sex in the City? to develop as a TV series. Bushnell will write the pilot script and serve as an executive producer on the project, along with Liza Chasin from 3dot Productions and Robyn Meisinger from Anonymous Content, where Chasin’s 3dot is under a first-look TV production deal.
Is There Still Sex in the City is set to be released by Grove Press on August 6, 2019. It follows Bushnell’s piercing, sly, and sometimes heartbreaking look at sex, dating, and friendship in New York City after 50. Set between the Upper East Side of Manhattan and a country enclave known as The Village, the book looks at love and life from all angles—marriage and children, divorce and bereavement, as well as the very real pressures on women to maintain their youth and have it all.
“It didn’t used to be this way. At one time, fifty something meant the beginning of retirement—working less, spending more time on your hobbies, with your friends, who like you were sliding into a more leisurely lifestyle,” said Bushnell. “In short, retirement age folks weren’t meant to do much of anything but get older and a bit heavier. They weren’t expected to exercise, start new business ventures, move to a different state, have casual sex with strangers, and start all over again. But this is exactly what the lives of a lot of fifty- and sixty something women look like today and I’m thrilled to be reflecting the rich, complexity of their reality on the page and now on the screen.”
Bushnell is the bestselling author behind Sex and The City, Four Blondes, Lipstick Jungle, The Carrie Diaries and One Fifth Avenue, among others. Published in 1996, Sex and the City was the basis for the Emmy-winning HBO series that spawned two hit movie sequels. Bushnell’s Lipstick Jungle and the Sex and the City prequel The Carrie Diaries also were adapted into TV series for NBC and the CW, respectively.
“The original Sex and the City book and series served as a groundbreaking touchstone for an entire generation of women, myself included,” said Nicole Clemens, President of Paramount Television. “We’re thrilled to be able to continue that conversation from the underrepresented point of view of women in their 50s and answer the question with, ‘Yes! There is more sex in the city!”
Added Chasin and Meisinger, “It is no surprise that Candace has written a fantastic, relatable, insightful, funny and deeply honest portrayal of women in their 50’s. We are thrilled to be working with her on turning it into a series.”
Is There Still Sex in the City? marks the latest high-profile series project to come out of Paramount Television and Anonymous Content’s first-look production deal for scripted programming. The partnership has yielded such series as Netflix’s Maniac, starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, and 13 Reasons Why, currently in production on season 3; TNT’s Emmy-nominated limited series The Alienist and upcoming sequel The Angel of Darkness; Hulu’s Catch-22, a six-part limited series based on Joseph Heller’s seminal novel of the same name, with George Clooney and Grant Heslov; Apple’s Shantaram, based on the international bestselling novel from Gregory David Roberts; Time Bandits, based on Terry Gilliam’s British fantasy film; Home Before Dark, inspired by the real-life story of 11-year-old Hilde Lysiak, starring Brooklynn Prince, executive produced and directed by Jon M. Chu; an epic television series adaptation of Anne Rice’s entire The Vampire Chronicles series of novels set at Hulu; and Margaret Atwood’s best-selling Maddaddam trilogy that includes three stunning novels—Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood and Maddaddam.
Is There Still Sex in the City? is repped by Heather Schroder at Compass Talent. Ron Bernstein at ICM Partners negotiated on behalf of Bushnell.