So far, two scribes have been enticed by big network bucks to exit the cable hit

By Joe Flint
Updated October 15, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT
Sarah Jessica Parker
Credit: Craig Blankenhorn

Create a hit TV show and, before long, rival networks and studios will try to sign up anyone responsible for it.

That’s what scribes at the hip series du jour, HBO’s ”Sex and the City,” are finding out. Cindy Chupack, who last spring was wooed by Mike Ovitz’s Artists Management Group with a multimillion dollar deal, has comedy pilots in the works at ABC and CBS. And last month, NBC Studios shelled out $7 million for ”Sex” scripter Jenny Bicks. ”It’s a little frustrating,” acknowledges HBO original programming prez Chris Albrecht, who hopes those exiting the fold ”are not disappointed by the creative environment they’re entering.”

”Everybody feels these writers have had the flush of success,” says ICM agent Alan Berger. True enough. But success on one show does not guarantee future hits. Just ask Jeff Greenstein and Jeff Strauss, who got big bucks based on their work on ”Friends,” then flopped with subsequent efforts, Fox’s ”Partners” and ”Getting Personal.” At least they got their new shows on the air — several other ex-”Friends” writers didn’t even make it that far. So the question is, will Hollywood still respect the ”Sex” scribes in the morning?

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