Netflix Developing New Installment of ‘Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City’

Armistead Maupins Tales of the City
Courtesy of PBS

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.”

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  1. Anne Oliver says:

    Does anybody know when this is going to happen.

  2. Kobo Mac says:

    I wish someone would make “Significant Others”, the funniest book in the series while capturing the best of the spirit of the tales.

  3. For the record, the exemplary first series was a co-production, predominantly the work of Britain’s Channel 4 and Scottish director Alastair Reid (1939–2011), who sadly did not work on series 2 and 3. The first series debuted on British television in September 1993, with PBS broadcasts starting in January 1994. Olympia Dukakis’s BAFTA nomination was a rarity among American actresses, made possible since this was a British production.

  4. Finally! I have been dying for more. Over a yr ago it was said Laura Linney had let the cat out of the bag on Andy Cohan’s show. I can’t wait to see what is next.

  5. David Hobson says:

    the first 6 books are great- the last 3 have been iffy- would love to see Babycakes made- with Michael in London, but I think they’re skipping to the last/new, not as good, 3 books.

  6. Kasey says:

    So…the characters they’re focusing on are the straight woman and the trans woman being played by a straight woman. That certainly sounds like telling LGBT stories.

  7. Carol Fairweather says:

    Yea! It will be like visiting with family, except maybe better…

  8. WayneInNYC says:

    So they are skipping books 4-5 and jumping ahead to MARY ANN IN AUTUMN?

    • Apparently not. Mary Ann In Autumn would have been a framework, but the books aren’t used. Present day- by now Anna is in her last years, or gone….What they can do with the remaining characters in 2017 San Francisco is a mystery to me.

      • Gene Bivins says:

        My guess is Mary Ann will visit Mrs. Madrigal at Barbary Lane where new tenants will be living. Armistead Maupin is on board, so I think we can trust it will still feel like the world he created.

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