'The Carrie Diaries' Cast Portraits: AnnaSophia Robb, Austin Butler and Cast Go Crazy for '80s Neons (PHOTOS)

'CARRIE DIARIES' SCOOP
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Talk about a blast from the past!

Before Carrie Bradshaw began dishing out relationship advice in New York City, she was just a teenager navigating through friends, relationships and heartache in 1984 Connecticut.

That's the premise for the CW’s new show The Carrie Diaries — a prequel to HBO’s Sex and the City — which follows Carrie, played by AnnaSophia Robb, as she falls in love for the first time... with Manhattan. On Friday, the network released a series of totally '80s cast portraits, featuring the young cast donning an array of neons. 

And if you're wondering where Carrie's BFFs -- Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte -- are, The Carrie Diaries takes place before the fierce foursome even met.

“We didn’t want to do the Baby Muppets syndrome — ‘Oh it’s baby Samantha! It’s baby Miranda!’” executive producer Amy B. Harris said at the New York premiere of the series on Monday. “There would never be a Charlotte because everyone’s been a Charlotte until they’ve had their heart broken 3 times.”

“These are all characters that are different than the Sex and the City characters,” she continued. “Those archetypes are still there. You can see how she became friends with Miranda and Samantha.”

The Carrie Diaries also stars Austin Butler as Sebastian, Carrie's love interest (No Mr. Little) and Katie Findlay, Ellen Wong and Brendan Dooling as Carrie's high school confidants Maggie, Mouse and Walt, respectively.

And yes, skeptics: Sarah Jessica Parker approves. “She sent me a really lovely note of encouragement, passing the torch,” said Robb at the premiere event. “It was really nice.”

The Carrie Diaries premieres January 2013 on the CW. 

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