THE CARRIE DIARIES: Amy B. Harris on Carrie's New Love, the Scope of Season 1 - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

THE CARRIE DIARIES: Amy B. Harris on Carrie’s New Love, the Scope of Season 1

February 11, 2013 by  

Carrie and Sebastian have been off-on for THE CARRIE DIARIES’ run so far, but things change in tonight’s brand new episode when a new guy catches her eye. And since one of Carrie’s most infamous plots from HBO’s SEX AND THE CITY was the triangle she had with Big and Aidan, I asked THE CARRIE DIARIES showrunner Amy B. Harris during a recent Q&A with reporters if fans should purposely be making that parallel with Carrie, Sebastian, and her new guy, George.

“I had not thought of it as that, but [George]’s definitely a more relaxed…energy than Sebastian,” Harris said. “And I like that about him. For me, it was fun to bring in a part of Manhattan we hadn’t seen. One was…restaurants and clubs, and two was a fashion shoot and three was a performance art piece and [four was] a Halloween party. So seeing all these different sides of Manhattan, downtown Manhattan, the art scene, the fashion world, this was sort of the way of bringing in the Upper East Side socialite world which was so big in the 80s, but was its own pocket. Nowadays, with the GOSSIP GIRL world, it’s all merged — uptown, downtown — but in the 80s, it was an uptown experience to have those kind of people.”

And with the season finale less than two months away, the writers will be cramming a whole lot of story into the show’s first year.

“What we decided to do — and I guess this it’s sort of untraditional for network television, but certainly not on cable — is on SEX AND THE CITY, we did a year in 13 or 18 episodes, depending [on how many were ordered],” Harris noted. “We had the benefit of shooting in the summer, so we were able to leave it as eternal spring. But it was usually about a ten month period in those episodes. And so, because we have weather in New York and we’re shooting throughout [the year], we decided to go for it and make the first season [of THE CARRIE DIARIES] her entire junior year…There’s always good ideas and more stories to be told, so let’s chase down her junior year.”

Which means while the show celebrated Halloween recently (and Thanksgiving is covered next week), a whole lot of ground will be covered in the final few episodes of the season.

“[Episode] seven sort of takes place around a winter dance, and eight on is from January to 1985 to the end of the school year,” Harris clarified. “The first half of the season is the first half of the school year of 1984.”

But while the ratings haven’t been as huge as, say, ARROW (which was the only new CW series to get an early renewal so far), Harris isn’t concerned about her show’s future.

“I felt like, obviously, you always want to come out of the gate gangbusters, and I can’t speak to The CW’s point of view on it, except what they said to us, which is the numbers are growing, the younger female audience is growing exponentially,” she noted. “And my feeling was always, people were going to come, possibly because they’re curious about what a prequel to SEX AND THE CITY was like. I would rather be doing what’s happening right now, which is people came, checked it out, told other people to come check it out, and now people are checking it out.  This is the first show I’ve been on since SEX AND THE CITY where I feel like I’m getting calls and emails and Facebook from people I haven’t heard from in years: ‘I’m watching it with my daughter’ or ‘My daughter is obsessed with it.’ My niece, she’s a junior in high school, and I’m just experiencing something I didn’t see on a show since SEX AND THE CITY for me. Which, P.S., didn’t do well in its first season. We clawed to get a second season pickup for SEX AND THE CITY, and we didn’t get it until [late]…nowadays on HBO, they pick up the day after the first episode airs. We did not get a pickup until the first season had fully aired. And we’d been finished filming for six months, I think. But similar things are happening with that show: when we did the premiere of SEX AND THE CITY, eight women came up to me and said, ‘That’s my life!’ And then they told me stories that didn’t sound at all like the plots, but I understood there was something underneath it that was clicking for people and I’ve had very similar experiences on this show, so I’ll take an audience that is growing and becoming more excited.”

And she’s confident that what’s on screen will help draw people in…and keep them returning for more.

“I feel like we built this season that keeps encouraging you to keep coming back,” Harris said. “And hopefully people will. I think from what the CW executives have been telling me, they’re thrilled with the growth and the numbers and how they’re growing…I’ve been on plenty of shows where you never hear from the executives after it airs and it’s like a bomb and you’re like that is that. This show feels very much that it has the support of the network and the episodes, in my mind and what everyone is telling me, they feel like they keep growing, which is the whole point of a show. It’s great to come out, blast out in the first episode, but I’d rather grow. To become something, rather than be something and watch it sort of linger.”

THE CARRIE DIARIES airs Mondays at 8 PM on The CW.

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