September 30, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT

”Sex and the City” series creator Darren Star has another show up his sleeve inspired by the real-life romantic lives of New Yorkers. This one is going to NBC, not HBO. Variety reports that NBC has beaten out two other networks in a bidding war for a pilot for the untitled one-hour comedy-drama from Star and writer Jeff Rake.

Like ”Sex,” which is based on writer Candace Bushnell’s book of thinly disguised tales of her dating life, the new show is based on the true story of Samantha Daniels, a New York matrimonial lawyer who is also a matchmaker. ”It’s all about relationships — getting into them and getting out of them,” Star told Variety. He said the lead character doesn’t find any conflict in ending marriages as well as creating them. ”She believes that even divorce is just one step in the path to finding your soulmate,” Star said. ”It’s a hopeful show at its core.”

Despite Star’s success on HBO, he’s had a poor track record in recent years on network TV. He enjoyed success in the early ’90s with ”Beverly Hills, 90210” and ”Melrose Place,” but his efforts since then include such short-lived series as ”Central Park West,” ”Grosse Pointe,” and ”The $treet,” on which Rake served as a writer. Still, NBC liked the pitch, in part because, as NBC entertainment chief Jeff Zucker told Variety, ”the episodes are close-ended, so that [most of the] stories will resolve themselves each week.” In other words, unlike Starr’s past network serials, these episodes should attract viewers who discover the show in reruns and syndication.

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