All queer shows are not created equal.
HBO Max has commissioned Equal, a four-part docuseries about LGBTQ history, Variety reports. Emmy-winning Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons and Love, Simon director Greg Berlanti are among the producers.
HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s new streaming service, is set to launch in spring 2020.
Equal will profile Radical Faeries founder Harry Hay, lesbian rights organization Daughters of Bilitis, transgender pioneer Christine Jorgensen, and gay civil rights leader Bayard Rustin. The final part will chronicle the Stonewall Riots and the first Pride celebration. Each hourlong episode will feature interviews, dramatic reenactments, and previously unseen footage.
Parsons and husband Todd Spiewak’s That’s Wonderful Productions will produce the docuseries along with Berlanti Productions, Scout Productions, Raintree Ventures, and Warner Horizon Unscripted Television.
“We are extremely proud to partner with these groundbreaking producers on a subject this important, at a time this critical,” said Mike Darnell, president of unscripted and alternative television at Warner Bros. “What a perfect project to launch Warner Horizon Unscripted Television’s new documentary series unit.”
“In June, we commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which shepherded in a new era for LGBTQ+ pride,” said Jennifer O’Connell, HBO Max’s executive vice president of original non-fiction and kids programming. “While we know the story behind that fateful summer night, there’s a lot of fascinating, untold history of the patriots, artists, and thinkers who paved the way. It’s time to share their heroic tales.”
Parsons and Spiewak have most notably produced Ryan O’Connell’s Netflix comedy series, Special, and the film A Kid Like Jake, which starred Parsons as the father of a “gender-expansive” child.
Berlanti, who is married to former soccer pro Robbie Rogers, is a prolific TV producer and creative mind behind shows such as Dawson’s Creek, Riverdale, and Supergirl. He directed the 2000 gay-themed film Broken Hearts Club and the groundbreaking 2018 YA adaptation Love, Simon, the first major studio rom-com with a gay teen at its center. Last year he signed a $400 million overall extension deal with Warner Bros.