Leary first pitched the show to FX in July 2001 as Hot Broads, which he described as "this show about really hot chicks in a firehouse who are always hosing each other down in their underwear and, I dunno, doing whatever else it is dames do. Shopping, I guess." The network was intrigued, but at the time, its budget for exploitative programming was consumed entirely by the mercifully short-lived sitcom Son of the Beach.
Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the heroic actions of NYC firefighters and other rescue workers, the network regained interest in the show. Leary subsequently reworked it to hew more closely to his typical themes of alcoholic self-loathing, Catholic guilt, misogyny, and banging lots of smokin' hot broads. Hey, it's not rape if, deep down inside, they really want it!