Sex and the City: Premise

Sex and the City is a popular American cable television program. The original broadcast run of the show was on HBO from 1998 until 2004.

Set in New York City, the show's focus is on four female characters. It was considered a sitcom, but had serialized storylines, like a soap opera, as well as dramatic elements. The show tackled socially relevant issues, often specifically dealing with women in society in the late 1990s, and how changing roles and definitions for women impacted the characters.

Sex and the City premiered on June 6, 1998, and the last original episode aired on February 22, 2004. The show was primarily filmed at New York City's Silvercup Studios and on location in and around Manhattan. Since it ended, the show has been aired in syndication on networks such as TBS, The CW, WGN, and many other local stations.

The show was based in part on writer Candace Bushnell's book of the same name, compiled from her column with the New York Observer. Bushnell has stated in several interviews that Carrie Bradshaw is her alter ego; when she originally wrote the "Sex and the City" essays, she used her own name initially but for privacy reasons, created the character of Carrie Bradshaw, a woman with the same career (writer) and same initials.

The narrative of the show focuses on Carrie and her three best girlfriends. (Bushnell has indicated that Carrie's friends are composites of her friends.) Together, Carrie and her friends represented a crosssection of contemporary American women. The women discussed their sexual desires and fantasies, as well as their beliefs and opinions. The show often portrayed frank discussions about romance and sexuality, particularly in the context of being a single woman.

The first season of the show was a adaptation of its source material; however, subsequent seasons depart from the book. Each episode in season one featured a short montage of interviews that Carrie supposedly conducted while researching for her column. These continued through season two before being phased out. Another feature that was eventually scrapped was Carrie breaking the fourth wall (for example, looking into the camera and speaking to the audience directly). Bradshaw would question scenarios and ideas, asking the audience for an opinion or insight on different situations. The last such event occurred in episode 3 of the second season, "The Freak Show".

=== Episodes ===

Season Ep # First Airdate Last Airdate

Season1 12 June 6, 1998 August 23, 1998
Season2 18 June 6, 1999 October 3, 1999
Season3 18 June 4, 2000 October 15, 2000
Season4 18 June 3, 2001 February 10, 2002
Season5 8 July 21, 2002 September 8, 2002
Season6 20 June 22, 2003 February 22, 2004
Movie 1 May 30, 2008

=== Viewer response and impact ===

Sex and the City premiered on HBO, June 6, 1998, and was one of the highest-rated sitcoms of the season, and the last original episode aired on February 22, 2004, was one of the most watched series finales.

The show became well known and lauded for its frank dialogue about women and sex.An unlikely supporter of the show is author Orson Scott Card. Card stated that although the crudity of the series left him numb, the show contained some of the best writing on television.

However, the characters have been criticized for being shallow, superficial, and self-absorbed. The series has been criticized by members of the religious right (such as Morality in Media) due to the subject matter of the series revolving around what they consider sexual immorality. The show has also been criticized by anti-consumerists and feminists for the main characters' display of extreme materialism and female stereotypes.

=== Awards and recognition ===

Over its course of six seasons, "Sex and the City" was nominated for over 50 Emmy Awards, winning seven times. Among the Emmys the show won were two for Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series (Jennifer McNamara), one for its Costumes, a trophy for Outstanding Comedy Series for its third season in 2001, Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series in 2002 for the episode "The Real Me", and for its final season in 2004, Emmys for Sarah Jessica Parker (Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for the episode "An American Girl in Paris, Part Deux"), and Cynthia Nixon (Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for the episodes "One" and "Ick Factor"). It has also been nominated for 24 Golden Globe Awards, and won 8. Its wins included Best TV Series — Musical or Comedy, and Best Actress in a TV Series — Musical or Comedy, (Sarah Jessica Parker) for three consecutive years from 2000 – 2002, Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series, or Movie for Kim Cattrall, and another one for Parker.

=== Film ===

The film originally was slated for production near the end of the broadcast series run in 2004, but the movie deal fell through at that time. Multiple press reports at the time indicated a personal dispute between Parker and Cattrall, as well as Cattrall's refusal to sign a contract for the film at a pay scale considerably less than Parker's.

Michael Patrick King wrote and directed, and the four lead actresses returned to reprise their roles, and Chris North signed to reprise his role as "Mr. Big." In addition, Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson appears in the film as Carrie's assistant. Evan Handler, David Eigenberg, Jason Lewis, and Willie Garson reprise their roles. New Line Cinema is distributing the film. Filming started on September 19, 2007 in New York City, and was complete early December 2007.

The plot of the film revolves around the lives of the four main characters, four years after the time frame of the finale of the HBO series.

The film's world premiere was in London's Leicester Square in early May 2008. The film was released on May 28, 2008 in the U.K. and was released May 30, 2008 in the U.S. with an unprecedented $55.7 million three-day gross. The debut made Sex and the City the top-opening romantic comedy of all time.



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