June 28, 2017
Managing Editor: Television
Netflix is developing a new installment of “Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City” with Working Title Television U.S. Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis are on board to revive the characters they played in Showtime and PBS adaptations of the landmark LGBT-themed novel series in the 1990s.
Michael Cunningham (“The Hours”) has penned the first script for what is envisioned as a 10-part installment, although the project does not yet have a series order from Netflix. Maupin would return as an executive producer, and Alan Poul is on board to direct. Netflix declined to comment.
Prolific novelist Maupin launched the series that follows a colorful, diverse group of characters living in San Francisco as a newspaper serial in 1976. He has published nine novels in the “Tales” series, with 2014’s “The Days of Anna Madrigal” said to be the final edition of the book series.
“Tales” focuses on the residents of a boarding house at 28 Barbary Lane run by Anna Madrigal, played by Dukakis. The Netflix series would be set in the present day, focusing on Linney’s Mary Ann Singleton character as she returns to San Francisco and the boarding house after 25 years away.
The book series has long been hailed as a cultural touchstone for the LGBT community with its finely drawn portrayals of gay, straight and transgender characters and their struggles. The “Tales” novels were among the first to address the AIDS crisis.
PBS carried the original six-part “Tales” miniseries in January 1994, which generated controversy in some regions for its depiction of LGBT relationships. Showtime ran the subsequent miniseries, 1998’s “More Tales of the City” and 2001’s “Further Tales of the City.”