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Showtime commissions ‘More Tales’

Showtime is commissioning the long-delayed sequel to the PBS miniseries “Tales of the City” by slating a June production start for “More Tales of the City.”

The planned follow-up to the enormously popular four-hour “Tales” was scrapped by PBS two years ago amid a swirl of controversy and accusations that the public broadcaster was backing off the project for political, rather than financial, reasons. It was charged that the behavior of author Armistead Maupin’s characters – many of whom were gay and some of whom used drugs – inspired the change of heart for PBS.

Jerry Offsay, Showtime’s programming prexy, has confirmed the production and noted that filming will commence in Montreal rather than San Francisco, where the original stories are set, to cut costs. It’s uncertain whether the original “Tales” cast of Olympia Dukakis, Laura Linney, Chloe Webb and Thomas Gibson will be back on board for the sequel.

This is Showtime’s second project bailout in the past year. The Viacom pay net also picked up “Bastard Out of Carolina” after TNT passed on it due to its explosive content involving rape, incest and child abuse.

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