Has MiramaxFilms found the next Bridget Jones' The New York film studio appears to have the recent Working Title transatlantic smash firmly in mind when it acquired the film rights yesterday to Allison Pearson's upcoming novel, I Don't Know How She Does It, based on her popular weekly newspapercolumns in the British broadsheet newspaper The Daily Telegraph.

To be published in 2002 by Alfred A. Knopf in the US and in the UK by Chatto & Windus, the novel provides a fictional account, both humorous and moving, of Kate Reddy, asuccessful investment banker who struggles to balance her demanding job with anequally demanding role as a mother.

Bridget Jones's Diary,which has grossed nearly $72m so far in the US for distributor Miramax, also sprang out of a UK newspaper column that charted the day-to-day life of a British woman, in this case a thirtysomething singleton. The Diary's author, Helen Fielding, then turned the confessional columns into a best-selling book that struck a nerve on both sides of the Atlantic and became the basis for the Working Title production that starred US actress Renee Zellweger (pictured above) in the title role. The filmhas grossed some $60m for UIP in the UK alone.

Originallypublished in The Independent, and now running in the Telegraph on Saturday, Fielding's Diary columns also spawned a sequel novel, BridgetJones: The Edge Of Reason,whose film rights were acquired recently for a reported $1m by the UK'sWorking Title.

Now it looks asif history could repeat itself with I Don't Know How She Does It, particularly once the media guessinggame begins over who will play the female lead for Miramax.

"We'rethrilled that Allison chose Miramax to be the home for this fascinatingcharacter that will be a wonderful part for an actress to play," saidMiramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein. "We are confident that movieaudiences will enjoy discovering 'Kate Reddy' as she balances the challenges ofbeing a working mother and business executive in today's busy world."

"I amdelighted to have found such a creative and enthusiastic home for my heroine'Kate Reddy,'" said Allison Pearson who is a columnist for London's EveningStandard, chief featurewriter for the Daily Telegraph Magazine and was named Interviewer of the Year at this year'sBritish Press Awards. "Kate seems to speak to so many harassed workingwomen and I feel sure that Miramax can turn her crazy life into a wonderfulmovie."

Lola Bubbosh,Miramax literary consultant and advisor, brought the project in to Miramax.Allon Reich, head of Miramax UK film, and Julie Goldstein, executive vicepresident of production and development, will oversee the project for Miramax,reporting to co-president of production Meryl Poster.

Stuart Ford,senior vice president of acquisitions and international operations, and IsabelBegg, head of Miramax UK business and legal affairs, negotiated the agreementon behalf of Miramax. Pearson's deal was negotiated by Peters, Fraser &Dunlop's Norman North, her literary agent Pat Kavanagh, and attorney RichardHeller, of Frankfurt Garbus Kurnit Klein & Selz.