TBS gets syndicated, sanitized ''Sex and the City''
Will they even still be able to call it ”Sex and the City”? The raunchy HBO comedy will cover up its naughty bits when it makes its move to basic cable syndication next summer. Though the series is ending production later this year, viewers will be able to see PG versions of Carrie and her galpals’ past adventures in weekly primetime reruns on TBS Superstation starting in June 2004, the cable channel announced Monday. According to the Atlanta Journal-Consititution, ”Sex” will air exclusively on TBS for 15 months, then on Tribune Company’s broadcast stations across the country.
It won’t be as difficult as it may sound to edit out the nudity and explicit dialogue that are the show’s hallmarks. ”Sex”’s producers have said that they always filmed alternate, less racy takes of the show’s more eyebrow-raising moments with the eventual syndication of the show in mind. Of course, the episodes also need to be trimmed from their HBO length (up to 30 minutes) down to about 22 minutes, and change in order to make room for commercials.
Still, TBS believes even bowdlerized ”Sex” will be a revelation to an audience of 88 million households, only a few million of which have enjoyed access to the show as HBO subscribers. ”There is an enormous, untapped audience out there that has never seen ‘Sex and the City,’ which makes it completely new to more than half our audience,” TBS veep Steve Koonin said in a statement. ”With ‘Sex and the City’ joining ‘Seinfeld’ and ‘Friends,’ TBS Superstation now offers our viewers one of the best contemporary comedy blocks ever assembled.”