Set in New York City, the show focused on four women, three in their mid-thirties, and one in her forties. The sitcom had serialized story lines, as well as dramatic elements and tackled socially relevant issues such as sexually transmitted diseases, safe sex, multiple partners, promiscuity and often specifically dealing with women in society in the late 1990s, and how changing roles and definitions for women affected the characters.
The show was primarily filmed at New York City's Silvercup Studios and on location in and around Manhattan. Since it ended, the show has been aired in syndication on networks such as TBS, WGN, and many other local stations. However, basic cable outlets edit out certain explicit show content that was broadcast in the original version.
Darren Star, the show's creator, paid $50,000 to Bushnell for complete rights to her columns. The show "bears only a passing resemblance to its source material"; the columns were "darker and more cynical" than the "gentler" series that Star produced. According to Sex and the City: Kiss and Tell, by Amy Sohn, Star wanted to create a show that expressed true adult comedy, sex, in an up-front way.
The narrative of the show focused on Carrie and her three best friends. The women discussed their sexual desires and fantasies, and their travails in life and love. The show often depicted frank discussions about romance and sexuality, particularly in the context of being a single woman in her mid-thirties. Each episode in season one featured a short montage of interviews of people living in New York City regarding topics discussed in that episode. These continue through season two but were then phased out. Another feature that would eventually be scrapped was Carrie breaking the fourth wall (for example, looking into the camera and speaking to the audience directly, also known in older drama as an aside). Bradshaw would question scenarios and ideas, asking the audience for an opinion or insight on different situations. The pilot, however, also had the characters of Miranda and Charlotte as well as a few minor characters speaking directly to the camera/audience. The last such event by Carrie occurs in episode 3 of the second season, "The Freak Show".
The method of expressing inner monologues was shifted exclusively to voiceovers by Carrie in future episodes. Her main narration usually revolved around the premise of that week's "article", where she summed up her thoughts with, "I couldn't help but wonder...". As she says that, her computer monitor is shown while she is typing the text of her voiceover, ending up with the theme of the episode expressed as a question such as, "Are we sluts?" or "Can you really have sex without politics?"
|Carrie Bradshaw||Sarah Jessica Parker||She is the narrator of each episode. Each episode is structured around her train of thought while writing her weekly column, "Sex and the City," for the fictitious newspaper The New York Star. A member of the New York glitterati, she is a club/bar/restaurant staple who is known for her unique fashion sense (particularly footwear). This is evident in the episode "The Real Me" in season four, when she is asked by Lynne Cameron (played by Margaret Cho) to be in a New York fashion show. She works on her PowerBook in her apartment, writing newspaper articles focusing on the different aspects of a relationship. In later seasons, her essays are collected as a book and she begins taking assignments from Vogue and New York Magazine. Carrie is house-proud; her one-bedroom, rent-controlled apartment is in an Upper East Side brownstone. Despite several long-term boyfriends, Carrie is entangled with "Mr. Big"(Chris Noth) in a complicated, multifaceted on and off relationship.|
|Samantha Jones||Kim Cattrall||She is the oldest and most sexually confident of the foursome. Samantha is an independent businesswoman, with a career in public relations. She is confident, strong, outspoken, and calls herself a "try-sexual" (meaning she'll try anything once). One of Samantha's best qualities is her loyalty to her friends. She believes that she has had "hundreds" of soulmates and requires that her sexual partners leave, "an hour after I climax." During the course of the show it is revealed that Samantha's glamorous, impenetrable facade and dismissive approach to love actually hides a sensitive, caring nature. Samantha has a number of relationships in the show . In Season 6, Samantha's character further develops when she is suddenly diagnosed with cancer when visiting a plastic surgeon for a breast implant consultation. An operation and chemotherapy challenge Samantha, but she beats cancer and it becomes clear the experience has renewed her with a new perspective on life and love with her most permanent and fulfilling relationship yet, with a younger man, model/actor, Smith Jerrod.|
|Charlotte York||Kristin Davis||She works in an art gallery and has had a conventional Connecticut upbringing. She is the most conservative and positive of the group, the one who places the most emphasis on emotional love as opposed to lust, and is a true romantic; always searching for her "knight in shining armor." She scoffs at the lewder, more libertine antics of her friends (primarily Samantha), presenting a more traditional attitude about relationships, usually based around "the rules" of love and dating. Despite her conservative outlook, she has been known to make concessions (while married) that even surprise her more sexually liberated girlfriends. Charlotte was a "straight A" student who attended Smith College where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma majoring in Art History with a minor in Finance. During the series, it is also revealed that Charlotte was voted homecoming queen, prom queen, "most popular," student body president, track team captain and was active as a teen model.|
|Miranda Hobbes||Cynthia Nixon||She is a career-minded lawyer with extremely cynical views on relationships and men. A Harvard Law School graduate from Philadelphia with two siblings, she is Carrie's best friend, confidante, and voice of reason. In the early seasons, she is portrayed as masculine and borderline misandric, but this image softens over the years, particularly after she becomes pregnant by her on/off boyfriend, Steve Brady, whom she eventually marries. The birth of her son, Brady Hobbes, brings up new issues for her Type A, workaholic personality, but she soon finds a way to balance career, being single and motherhood. Of the four women, she is the first to purchase her own apartment (across the park from Carrie, on the Upper West Side), and later a home in Brooklyn.|
|Mr. Big||Chris Noth||Seasons 1 - 6 + Movie||He is a pseudonym for the charming, attractive, sarcastic, and wealthy love interest for Carrie Bradshaw. He is the reason for many of Carrie's breakdowns as he never seemed ready to fully commit to Carrie. During the course of the series he marries Natasha, who is ten years younger than Carrie. An affair with Carrie destroys Big's marriage and Carrie's relationship with her other major love interest, furniture designer Aidan. In the final episode, Mr. Big realizes that life without Carrie is nothing. He is a big jazz fan and a heavy cigar smoker with plenty of money to burn. His name was not revealed until the end of the series finale.|
|Steve Brady||David Eigenberg||Seasons 2 - 6 + Movie||He is Miranda's on and off boyfriend throughout the series since he was introduced in the second season. He eventually marries Miranda at the end of Season 6, after they had a child together at the end of Season 4. He is one of the few men on the show meant to counter-balance all the emotionally unstable men encountered throughout the series, as he is a constant and sensitive male character. His alcoholic mother, Mary Brady, played by Anne Meara, is also a prominent recurring character.|
|Stanford Blatch||Willie Garson||Seasons 1 - 6 + Movie||Often referred to as the show's "Fifth Lady," He is Carrie's best friend outside of the three women. A gay talent agent from an aristocratic family with a sense of style paralleled only by Carrie's, viewers receive the impression that they have a long-standing relationship built within their younger, wilder days in the New York City club and bar scene in the 1980s. He had said that they have been friends since Carrie was riding the subways and wearing Candie's. The only supporting character to receive his own storylines on occasion, Stanford represents the show's most constant gay point of view to sex on the show, generally based around the physical insecurities and inadequacies of someone who does not "have that gay look." In the last two seasons of the show, he is partnered with Broadway dancer Marcus Adente.|
|Smith Jerrod||Jason Lewis||Seasons 6 + Movie||He is a young waiter Samantha seduces. She tries to maintain her usual sex-only relationship with him, but he slowly pushes for something more. He is a wannabe actor whose career Samantha jump starts using her PR connections (including changing his name to "Smith Jerrod" from "Jerry Jerrod"), getting him a modeling job that turns into a film role. Just when she thinks Smith's age and experiences aren't enough for her, he gives her unconditional support during her fight with breast cancer. In the final episode, Smith flies back from a film set in Canada just to tell her that he loves her, which she counters with "You have meant more to me than any man I've ever known," which, for Samantha, is a far greater statement.|
|Harry Goldenblatt||Evan Handler||Seasons 5 - 6 + Movie||He is Charlotte's Jewish divorce lawyer who is incredibly attracted to her from the beginning. She is not attracted to him initially, but tries to pursue a sex-only relationship with him, which leads to one of exclusivity and love as opposed to her relationship with Trey, which was reversed in this aspect. After her conversion to Judaism and one big argument that sends them in separate directions for a few weeks, the two marry and begin trying to have/adopt a child. In the end, they are approved for a Chinese adoption and adopt a girl.|
|Aleksandr Petrovsky||Mikhail Baryshnikov||Season 6||He was referred to by Carrie occasionally as "The Russian," is a famous artist who becomes Carrie's lover in the final season. He sweeps her off her feet with huge romantic gestures and shows her the foreign pockets of New York that she has never seen before. Her relationship with him brings up all sorts of questions in Carrie's mind about finding love past "a certain age" and whether or not she wants children. When he's preparing to return to Paris for a solo exhibit he invites Carrie to come live with him, which, after several deliberations (and one fight) with her friends, she does. After spending some time there, she realizes that he will never reciprocate the level of emotional involvement that she offers because his life and career will always come first.|
|Season||Ep #||First Airdate||Last Airdate|
|Season 1||12||June 6, 1998||August 23, 1998|
|Season 2||18||June 6, 1999||October 3, 1999|
|Season 3||18||June 4, 2000||October 15, 2000|
|Season 4||18||June 3, 2001||February 10, 2002|
|Season 5||8||July 21, 2002||September 8, 2002|
|Season 6||20||June 22, 2003||February 22, 2004|
The Sex and the City: The Movie DVD was released on September 23, 2008.
The show became well known and lauded for its frank dialogue about women and sex. An unlikely supporter of the show is author Orson Scott Card. Card stated that although the crudity of the series left him numb, the show contained some of the best writing on television.
However, the characters have been criticized for being shallow, superficial, and self-absorbed.
Sex and the City is currently syndicated in the United States by HBO corporate sibling (under Time Warner) Warner Bros. Television Distribution. The international rights to the series currently rest with CBS Television Distribution, the syndication arm of CBS Paramount Television, the successor-in-interest to Paramount's television unit (through its acquisition of original international distributor Rysher Entertainment) now owned by CBS Corporation.
The United States cable channel HBO was the original broadcaster. TBS and WGN began showing edited reruns of the series. The series then went into international syndication. The Nine Network aired the first run of the show Every Monday Between 9:30 pm and 11:00 pm. After 2004 the Cable Channel W. Channel aired it until summer 2008 when Arena TV started airing it in a block with Will & Grace with promos stating "all the good guys are gay".
Channel 4 originally aired the series in the UK with the first episode shown in early 1999. As of September 2008 a double bill of the show airs each weeknight at 10pm on Paramount Comedy 1, and on Sunday nights on Fiver.
|Country||Date of Premiere||Channel|
|USA||June 6, 1998 - February 22, 2004 2004 - present|| HBO|
|Australia|| 1999 - June 2004 2005 - 2007 |
January 2008 - Present
| Nine Network|
In addition to standard single season DVD box sets of the show, limited edition collectors' editions have also been released that include all 6 seasons in one complete set. Even these vary between region 1 2 and 4. While Europe got a complete set that came with special 'shoe box' packaging (a reference to Sarah Jessica Parker's character's love for shoes in the show), the USA and Canada version came packaged in a more traditional fold-out suede case and with an additional bonus DVD including many special features. Oceania's edition came packaged in a beauty case.
As well as missing out on some special features, many fans in Europe had trouble with the region 2 edition of the season 1 DVD. Unfortunately, the show was not converted into a PAL video signal, and remained in its original American NTSC format. This caused some compatibility problems with some European television sets and DVD players. All subsequent Region 2 DVD releases of the programme were appropriately transferred to PAL video and season 1 has since been re-released in PAL format. Outside the US, Sex and the City boxed sets were released through Paramount Pictures (whose parent Viacom interestingly once owned HBO's rival Showtime, before the CBS Corporation split at the end of 2005) - who owned at once, certain rights to the programme's broadcast as well – it was probably because of Paramount's "no-extras" policy that the region 2 DVDs were criticized. American and Canadian DVDs were released through the programme's original broadcasters, HBO. In Australia, single editions have been released, where each disc is sold separately. In South Korea, due to the popularity of the show, a complete, six-season, special DVD shoebox set was released—600 limited edition sets in 2005; 850 limited edition sets in 2006—at suggested retail price of $300 (US). All of them sold out immediately.
Selected episodes are also available as part of the Sex and the City Essentials DVD collection. These are four separately-packaged discs containing three selected episodes that fit a common theme.
Michael Patrick King wrote and directed, and the four lead actresses returned to reprise their roles, and Chris North signed to reprise his role as "Mr. Big." In addition, Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson appears in the film as Carrie's assistant. New Line Cinema will be distributing the film, and New Line president of production Toby Emmerich, Richard Brenner and Kathy Busby are overseeing the project. Parker and John Melfi are producing. Filming started on September 19, 2007 in New York City.
The plot of the film revolves around the lives of the four main characters, four years after the time frame of the finale of the HBO series.
Filming of the Sex and the City movie was completed early December 2007.
The film's world premiere was in London's Leicester Square in early May 2008. The film was released on May 28, 2008 in the U.K. and was released May 30, 2008 in the U.S. with an unprecedented $55.7 million three-day gross. The debut made Sex and the City the top-opening R-rated romantic comedy of all time.