Star pens dear 'Diary' entry at HBO

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Ten years after he brought "Sex and the City" to HBO, Darren Star is back at the premium cable channel with "Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl," a comedy series project he is exec producing with Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas.

Star is writing "Diary," the first TV show he has solely created since the WB Network's critically praised 2000 series "Grosse Pointe."

Like "Sex," "Diary" deals with issues of relationships and sexuality through the lives of several Manhattan women. Also like "Sex," it's based on a book by a female columnist.

Call girl-turned-writer Tracy Quan made a splash on Salon.com with her semi-autobiographical column "Nancy Chan: Diary of a Manhattan Girl," which became the basis for her memoir.

"Diary," from Darren Star Prods. and Sony Pictures TV, is an ensemble show that takes a look at how power, sex and money collide through the eyes of a group of Manhattan's highest-paid escorts forced to juggle their johns, jobs and relationships.

"These women are not at all ashamed or stigmatized by what they do. In fact, there is something aspirational about it," Star said. "No one has quite looked at the world of high-end call girls, and this show intends to do that."

"Diary" has been a passion project for Star for years, a big fan of Quan's columns and her book.

"From the beginning, I was struck by her take -- the tone of her columns is very comedic, a very fresh way to explore this profession," he said.

Star first brought "Diary" to Goldsmith-Thomas at Revolution Studios where the two developed it as a feature.

When that didn't pan out, he took the idea to HBO.

Having done "Sex" at HBO, he knew it would be difficult to do another straight comedy series about women and felt that "Diary" gave him that fresh perspective at tackling issues of sex and relationships from a female point of view.

Star already has written a first draft of "Diary" and is polishing the scripts with the hopes of being able to make it before a potential strike.

"I'm very excited to be back in business with HBO developing a comedy," he said.

Star is exec producing ABC's comedy pilot "Literary Superstar" starring Jenna Elfman and serves as producer on "Sex and the City: The Movie."

He is repped by WMA and attorney Jamey Coen.
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