The creator and executive producer of the softcore cable TV classic Red Shoe Diaries is teaming up with the series' broadcaster, Showtime, for a new adult series to be accompanies by a Web site aimed at selling the upscale items the show will display, Variety reports.

Called, the project deal includes Showtime paying a licensing fee, with the rest of the budget for the 26 half-hour episodes coming through foreign sales, Variety says.

The series will revolve around women applying online for a vacation aboard a luxury ship, the Chromium Blue, taking vacations involving adventure, danger, adversity, and nudity and eroticism, King says.

``The vacations will be designed to help the women fill a void in their lives, but the tone won't be angst or deep psychological exploration, it will be optimism and fun,'' he tells Variety. ``I like adventure, I like bringing characters to exotic locations, whether it's the high seas or the Sahara desert. It'll be a sexy show.''

King and his partner David Saunders tell the show business daily that it may be unusual to bring off a commercial project on a non-commercial pay network, but Showtime's avoiding commercials makes it as appropriate for the Web project as its willingness to show nudity makes it a good place for King's latest adult-oriented fare.

``Showtime is getting what it wants, a high-quality original series from the creator of Red Shoe Diaries at a price they're happy with,'' Saunders tells Variety. ``What we get is the opportunity to use this programming as a springboard for a parallel merchandising business which doesn't compromise the quality of the show.''

King and Saunders are designing several Web ventures to let viewers buy products on network shows, but this may be the first show partly designed to move merchandise, Variety says. ``We're now looking to find strategic partners and manufacturers for the e-commerce venture, so that the vacation itself might be for sale, the clothes, the makeup, motorcycles or the cars,'' King tells the daily. "Because of the way I shoot, it looks like a Gucci ad come to life. Suddenly you can be in that adventure yourself.''

This isn't exactly a new idea for the two - they first thought of it, they say, when they created the 66-episode Red Shoe Diaries. ``We believed back then that the programming could be a marketing tool for merchandise without undermining the programming or affecting continuity by having to stop for a commercial,'' Saunders tells Variety. ``The Internet has proven a very effective, direct way to reach the buying public. We intend to have a Web site up and running with ways that viewers can point, click, and buy.''