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AnnaSophia Robb ready to fill the shoes of teenage Carrie Bradshaw

AnnaSophiRobb plays teenage Carrie Bradshaw “The Carrie Diaries.”

AnnaSophia Robb plays the teenage Carrie Bradshaw on “The Carrie Diaries.”

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8 p.m. — “Gossip Girl”


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8 p.m. — “Emily Owens, M.D.”


7 p.m. — “Arrow”

8 p.m. — “Supernatural”


7 p.m. — “The Vampire Diaries”

8 p.m. — “Beauty and the Beast”


7 p.m. —
“America’s Next Top Model”

8 p.m. — “Nikita”

Updated: July 1, 2012 11:43AM

Long before Carrie Bradshaw bought Birkin bags, swooned over Mr. Big and typed her column on a Mac laptop, she used nail polish to decorate her purse, had the hots for a high school transfer student and penned her thoughts in a journal.

This 16-year-old version of the character made famous by Sarah Jessica Parker is the star of the “The Carrie Diaries.” The upcoming CW series — set in 1984 — is a prequel to one of cable television’s most popular shows ever, “Sex and the City,” which ended its six-year HBO run in 2004.

“Those are some big shoes to fill,” acknowledged AnnaSophia Robb (“Soul Surfer”), the actress who plays the young, footwear-obsessed Carrie. Robb spoke Thursday at the CW’s yearly pitch to advertisers where networks roll out their fall TV schedules.

“The Carrie Diaries” won’t bow until January, when it takes over the Monday time slot of “Gossip Girl.” That series will say goodbye for good after an abbreviated 13-episode run starting this fall on WGN-Channel 9.

The network is coming off a rough year ratings-wise. It’s banking on “The Carrie Diaries” to help shore up its target audience of young women.

Based on clips of the series shown Thursday, the characters and writing seem aimed at viewers in their late teens and early 20s — people who would have been around kindergarten age when “Sex and the City” debuted.

We’re introduced to a teenage Carrie struggling to cope with her mother’s recent death from cancer. She’s living with her rebellious younger sister and father in suburban Connecticut, hanging around with a trio of friends that include a sweet geek named Mouse, sarcastic Maggie and sensitive Walt.

When Carrie lands an internship at a law firm in Manhattan, it’s like watching someone have a first kiss with the man we know she’ll eventually marry. The suburban ingenue befriends a hip magazine stylist who introduces her to New York’s nightlife, and it’s off to the races.

In addition to the Carrie voiceovers that were an integral part of “Sex and the City,” the prequel gives plenty of winks to the original. Even a young Carrie wears a sleep mask and a gold necklace, this one with just an initial instead of her name.

People who will get the biggest kick out of the “Sex and the City” references are also likely to be the ones who most relate to the show’s hefty dose of ’80s nostalgia — think Rubik’s cubes, preppy sweaters and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Whether they’ll stick around for storylines about losing one’s virginity is another matter.

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