NEW YORK WORKED ONCE, SO WHY NOT AGAIN?: HBO, which last week saw the exit of its entertainment chief, Carolyn Strauss, remains desperately on the hunt for its next hit show, and it seems to be looking, among other places, to the same kind of New York media figures who provided its "Sex and the City" success. The channel has a script deal with Bob Morris, who until recently wrote the "Age of Dissonance" column for The New York Times' Sunday Styles section, to develop a comedy series about manners in Manhattan. Plum Sykes wrote in December that she'd be adapting her novel, "The Debutante Divorcee," for the channel and "Mergers and Acquisitions" author Dana Vachon is also said to have talked to HBO, though it could not be confirmed by press time.
"My show will be set in the urban environment of supposedly the rudest city in the world," Morris told WWD, "about a man who is obsessed with manners and actually doesn't know how to treat people very well. That is me. Ask anybody I know. My tendency as a columnist was to get on a high horse and wag my finger and run my mouth off about things." But don't expect a journalist protagonist, what with Carrie Bradshaw having maxed out that particular conceit — Morris is considering making his alter ego a party planner or a guidance counselor at a private school.