When HBO's "Sex and the City" (search) ends its six-season run next year, Kim Cattrall (search) - who plays the series' lusty Samantha Jones - won't be going far.

As it turns out, Cattrall is producing not one, but two specials for the cable network, and has been preparing a soft landing spot for herself pretty much from the moment she was cast.

"I feel there's an audience for the kind of stories I'm interested in telling, and they're not about car chases or joke after joke," she said.

Cattrall is producing and starring in a remake of the Clifford Odets play, "The Country Girl." (search) (The first screen version won an Oscar for Grace Kelly in 1954.) She'll also produce and host an HBO documentary, "Sexual Intelligence." (search

Lest you think that sounds like an extension of her Samantha character, she says you are in for a disappointment.

" Sexual Intelligence' is about discovering how we really have gotten to the point today where sex is still so taboo," Cattrall said. It is pretty serious.

"I'm not going to be the female Bill Moyers (search)," she said, adding "hopefully, it will be educational, informative and also entertaining."

Cattrall says she began to think seriously about becoming her own boss right before committing to play Samantha.

While reading the "Sex and the City" pilot, Cattrall, who was then around 40 - she's now 47 - had some doubts.

"I was kind of nervous about playing a character who was so outrageous. I was a little scared of it," said Cattrall, adding "That's why Darren [Star, the show's creator] kept taking me to lunch."

The final nudge came around the time last year that "Satisfaction: the Art of the Female Orgasm," a book she wrote with her then-husband, was published. She said that after the book, she received considerable interest from the networks to do a talk show about women's issues.

"I thought, 'OK, I'm sort of in a bend at the road here," she said.

Cattrall had also noticed an interesting trend: People - not just fans who watched "Sex and the City" but TV executives too - had begun to think of her and Samantha as one and the same.

"I'm an actress," she said. "I love what I do [but] I don't consider myself a personality in the world - Samantha is."

Still, the issues Cattrall had been invited to explore, such as female sexuality, gender expectations, etc . . . genuinely appealed to her.

She discussed the dilemma with longtime friend Amy Briamonte, a documentary producer, who suggested developing some projects with a small company Briamonte was involved in.

Cocky from having just brought out her book, Cattrall responded: "Why can't we just do it ourselves?"

They did. Her company is called Fertile Ground Productions and got HBO to green light it for "Sexual Intelligence" shortly after.

Her first producer's headache?

While trying to register her new company, Cattrall discovered that the name Fertile Ground was already owned by a fertilizer company.

She called the company and explained that she wanted to use the name for a film company and had no desire to be in horticultural competition. "They said, 'Go for it!' " Cattrall said.