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Showtime Nabs "Secret Diary of a Call Girl," NBC Launches "Quarterlife"

Missing Billie Piper since she left Doctor Who? Look no further than Showtime then to assuage that itch.

Pay cabler Showtime has acquired 20 half-hour episodes of Piper's ITV2 series, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, based on the real-life sexual exploits of an undisclosed sex worker who published her diaries in 2005. Piper will play a legal secretary named Hannah who transforms herself into a high-class hooker named Belle de Jour each night.

Showtime will launch Secret Diary of Call Girl this summer, airing the first eight episodes.

Season Two of the series goes into production in the UK early next year; Showtime will slate those twelve episodes at a later date.

Showtime topper Bob Greenblatt told Variety that he believes Diary of a Call Girl is the perfect companion for the network's other series such as Dexter, Weeds, The Tudors, and Californication. "It has a great sensiblity to it," Greenblatt said of Call Girl. "It's more emotional than you think it's going to be. It's sex and funny, but there's other stuff going on."

In a rather surreal twist of fate, tarnished former HBO president Chris Albrecht, made the sale to Showtime.

* * *

In other programming news, NBC has announced that it will launch acquired Internet drama Quarterlife on Monday, February 18th at 9 pm. NBC has previously announced that it would air six one-hour installments of the relationship drama, currently streaming on several websites, early in 2008.

Drama will replace airings of Deal or No Deal, which will continue to run on Wednesdays. Quarterlife's lead-in will be reality series The Baby Borrowers, which launches that same night.

"The first time Ed [Zwick] and Marshall [Herskovitz] showed me quarterlife," I knew it was something special and I personally could not stop watching it. It was also a great opportunity to explore a new paradigm," said NBC Entertainment Co-Chairman Ben Silverman in a statement.

"Ben Silverman and NBC are innovators who understand and appreciate that quarterlife represents an important shift in television programming, as our Internet series is the first to air on a major network," said co-creator Marshall Herskovitz. "Ben also really gets how special the quarterlife story is and believes in our young talent. We're truly thrilled to be part of the NBC family, as they are experts at leveraging their diverse platform to give their shows maximum exposure."

Stay tuned.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: How I Met Your Mother/The Big Bang Theory (CBS); Clash of the Choirs (NBC; 8-10 pm); Everybody Hates Chris/Aliens in America (CW); Duel (ABC; 8-9:30 pm); House (FOX)

9 pm: Two and a Half Men/Rules of Engagement (CBS); Girlfriends/The Game (CW); Notes from the Underbelly (ABC; 9:30-10 pm); K-Ville (FOX)

10 pm: CSI: Miami (CBS); Journeyman (NBC); October Road (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

10 pm: Journeyman.

On tonight's episode ("The Hanged Man"), Dan's attempt to rescue a woman her son from an RV handing upon a cliff has serious consequences for Dan in the present when he inadvertently leaves behind a piece of modern machinery; Katie's sister suspects something is wrong with Dan.


Anonymous said…
Have you heard what the response was to "Secret Diary" in England? I'm hoping it was well received as I'm a big Billie Piper fan.

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