Originally created 09/30/03

"Sex and the City" will move to basic cable next year



NEW YORK -- An edited version of HBO's "Sex and the City" will be moving to basic cable next year.

TBS announced Monday it had acquired syndication rights to the HBO series, which will end its run of original episodes early next year. Shortly after, in June 2004, old "Sex and the City" episodes will begin appearing on TBS.

Series creators have been preparing for a possible life after HBO, filming alternate scenes so a less racy "Sex" can appear outside of pay cable. The episodes will be also shortened from how they appeared on HBO to make room for commercials.

"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," said Steve Koonin, TBS chief operating officer.

TBS has sought to emphasize comedy, and "Sex and the City" will join its prime-time lineup with "Seinfeld" and "Friends" reruns.

"Sex and the City" was the first cable program to win an Emmy Award for best comedy.