Showtime, Sundance Channel Explore the World’s Oldest Profession

Showtime Buys British Series Secret Diary of a Call Girl ; Sundance to Air Documentary Series Pleasure for Sale

Maybe it's something in the air or the desire to draw some eyeballs during the writers’ strike, but a couple of cable channels are seeking programming help from the world's oldest profession.

Showtime bought British series Secret Diary of a Call Girl. The eight half-hours about a legal secretary who takes more than dictation in her off-hours will air during spring or summer 2008.

Over at Sundance Channel, the network isn't waiting until spring to slate its original six-part documentary series, Pleasure for Sale (Thursdays from 11 p.m.-11:30 p.m. starting Feb. 4), about The Chicken Ranch, a legal brothel outside of Las Vegas.

Among the series' subplots: trips to the doctor for venereal-disease checkups and breast-implant issues, the first visit of a man who is redeeming a 50th-birthday present from his wife and a client with a spanking fetish.