Billie Piper, 'The Secret Diary of a Call Girl'

Billie Piper in 'The Secret Diary of a Call Girl'

Showtime has snagged the American broadcast rights to the popular British comedy "Secret Diary of a Call Girl."

The series stars Billie Piper as Hannah, who works as a legal secretary by day, but becomes high priced call girl Belle by night.

Based on the the diary by the real-life Belle, the series premiered on the UK's ITV2 in September and became an instant success.

Showtime plans to begin airing the original eight-episode first season beginning next spring or summer, while the premium cable's acquisition also includes the already ordered 12-episode second season.

The "Call Girl" pact is former HBO honcho Chris Albrecht's first big deal since going to IMG.

"When Chris Albrecht called me to take a look at this show we were intrigued," says Showtime Entertainment President Robert Greenblatt. "Initially we thought we should make an American version of it, but we fell in love with the original episodes, were captivated by Billie Piper's Belle, and decided to bring it to Showtime as is. American audiences will be transfixed by the series poignant, sexy, comedy meets drama elements and the series' will fit in perfectly with our line-up of original programming. It is also a pleasure to be back in business with my old friend Chris."