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“Carrie Bradshaw is the female version of Superman,” quips Josh Schwartz, who is bringing Bushnell’s iconic creation back to the small screen with The CW’s ’80s-set prequel series The Carrie Diaries, premiering Jan. 14. “What Superman is to guys is what Carrie Bradshaw is to women.” Sex and the City began as a series of The New York Observer columns, depicting Bushnell’s tumultuous love life and fashionable lifestyle, that were converted into a best-selling book in 1996 and then an HBO series by Darren Star in 1998, establishing the network as a destination for aspirational viewing.
The cosmo-swilling, advicespewing superheroine (who else but Bradshaw can navigate SoHo’s cobblestone streets in stilettos?) is the gift that keeps on giving in Hollywood, spawning six seasons on HBO and two spinoff movies for Warner Bros. — plus the upcoming prequel series. Like her New York-loving alter ego, Connecticut native Bushnell, 53, is less than impressed with the Hollywood machine. She famously feuded with Michael Patrick King, a writer-director-producer on the Sex and the City TV show and movies, over credits and cash. (Bushnell received a relatively low payout for the franchise and never received an executive producer credit as she does on Carrie Diaries.) King, in turn, has been dismissive of Bradshaw’s origins story, saying he has no plans to read the mammoth YA best-seller, which has sold 500,000 copies since its publication in 2010.
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