HBO Draws Out Last “Sex and the City” Season

Sex and the City is saying farewell.

After five seasons of unadulterated fun, the Emmy-winning series is going into its sixth and final season, HBO execs announced at the Television Critics Association winter press tour Tuesday.

“This has been such an important show (and a hallmark) of what we have become and what we are,” HBO chairman and CEO Chris Albrecht told The Hollywood Reporter. “Shows come and go; this is a great show, and hopefully there will be more great shows.”

The show, starring the fab foursome Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis, will begin production March 31 and will tape an extended 20 episodes, instead of the standard 13.

HBO will break the season up into two parts, airing the first 12 episodes in the summer and the remainder in January 2004.

This means HBO could be losing two of its signature shows by the end of next year. The Sopranos, which just finished its fourth season, is preparing for its fifth and last season as well. HBO execs, however, aren’t completely giving up hope for a last minute change of heart for either show to continue their runs.

“All the principals involved felt that this was a strong place to go off,” HBO executive VP Carolyn Strauss told The Reporter of the Sex and the City clan. “If somewhere along the line they change their minds and feel that they could do more of this, it would be fantastic.”

The pay cable network does have a few promising upcoming shows planned, though, to fill the void, including the series Deadwood, Marriage and Carnivale. According to The Reporter, another strong contender in the works is Good in Bed, a single-camera comedy from Sex and the City writer Jenny Bicks. Based on Jennifer Weiner’s book of the same name, the project centers on a female reporter in her late 20s who is preoccupied with her weight and men but also able to see the humor even in life’s most unpleasant broadsides.