“Cashmere Mafia” Coming to ABC Next Season

on

ABC has officially

picked up
the new series Cashmere Mafia about four successful New

York career women in their 30s who have been friends since business school.

The hour-long drama from Darren Star Productions (Sex and the City)

and Sony Pictures Television and executive produced by Darren Star, Gail Katz,

Susie Fitzgerald and Kevin Wade (who also penned the script) was given a series

order on Friday, although it’s not yet clear whether it will air in the fall

or mid-season.

The four friends are played by Lucy Liu (Ally McBeal, Charlie’s Angels),

Miranda Otto (The Lord of the Rings trilogy), Frances O’Connor (Iron

Jawed Angels, Timeline
) and Bonnie Somerville (NYPD Blue, Kitchen

Confidential
).

The good news for AfterEllen.com readers? In the pilot, Somerville’s character,

Caitlin Dowd, a cosmetics industry VP (pictured above on the far left), unexpectedly

finds herself falling for — and getting involved with — another

woman at work.

Here’s how ABC describes the show in their official press release:

Their names are Dylan, Juliet, Caitlin and Zoe. But you’ll come to know them

as the Cashmere Mafia: four Manhattan women bonded by their Ivy League educations

and executive success. A thinking woman’s Sex and the City mixed

with the wit of The Devil Wears Prada, this one-hour drama assembles

a cast of bright, driven, relatable women who support each other through rocky

marriages, rival colleagues, kids’ recitals and the hunt for the perfect loft.

Ambition always comes with a price. Consistently outpacing their male colleagues

and husbands in salary and title, they also have to watch out for scheming

bitches eager to bring them down.

Fortunately, there’s strength in numbers. These successful executives regularly

bring their problems to the lunch table and use each other’s strengths and

resources to avert disaster, both personally and professionally. With style,

smarts and appeal, the Cashmere Mafia is about to bring sexy back

to the boardroom, while unexpected heart and humor keep their stories compelling.

From producer Darren Star (Sex and the City) and writer Kevin Wade

(Working Girl) comes a compelling, intimate and unflinching look

at an ensemble of high-powered women whose most valuable assets are their

friendship and their willingness to have it all without giving an inch.

Obvious comparisons have been drawn to Sex and the City, but Star insists Cashmere is different. “Where Sex and the City was about relationships, this show is

about women and work,” Star recently told The New York Daily News.

“The characters are all friends from business school who are in the power

echelons of New York. The show is about their work and how they balance work,

family and relationships and in some ways the extra workload that women have

to bear in times like this.”

Candace Bushnell’s Lipstick Jungle, a similarly themed series about

three “rich, power-hungry women in New York,” was also ordered to

series by NBC last week, but does not have any lesbian or bisexual characters.

Cashmere Mafia was not the only pilot with a lesbian

or bisexual character in consideration for network TV’s fall and midseason lineup

this year, but it is the only one to have been given a series order so far.

Of the three comedy pilots in development with lesbian/bi characters, ABC’s

Traveling in Packs and Fox’s Hackett were not included in

the series orders made by their respective networks on Friday (although Hackett

could still be picked up for midseason), and CBS’ The Rich Inner Life of

Penelope Cloud
, starring Marisa Tomei and Cynthia Watros as her lesbian

roommate, is unlikely to be among the handful of series picked up by the eye

network this week, according to industry buzz from multiple sources says.

Since there are no current scripted network TV series with regular lesbian/bi

characters on TV up for renewal, this makes Cashmere Mafia likely to

be the only scripted network TV series with a prominent lesbian/bisexual character

in the 2007–08 season.

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