A “Tales Of The City” Revival Is Headed To Netflix

With original cast members Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis attached to star.

It sounds like it might be time to return to Barbary Lane.

TV Line is reporting that Netflix is currently developing a 10-episode “present-day continuation of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City.” The site’s sources also confirm that the miniseries’ original cast members, Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis, are slated to reprise their characters Mary Ann Singleton and Anna Madrigal, respectively, “with other Tales vets expected to join.”

Tales of the City/PBS

According to Variety author Michael Cunningham (The Hours) has written the first script for the series and Maupin is on board as executive producer with Alan Poul, who directed the first three Tales of the City miniseries, back behind the camera—though the revival does not yet have a series order from Netflix.

This is not the first time there has been talk of a Tales revival. When Maupin was on a book tour last year he dropped some hints about bringing the characters back to television:

“How great would it be if people found out Mary Ann Singleton and Anna Madrigal were soon headed back to 28 Barbary Lane, and they found out from gossip heard in the Castro bookstore?” Maupin revealed during a reading from his upcoming memoir, Logical Family.

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Tales of the City was first adapted to the screen as a 1993 PBS miniseries starring Linney and Dukakis. It was nominated for two Emmys and has since been heralded as one of the “top ten miniseries of all time” by Entertainment Weekly. Two follow ups were made: More Tales of the City (1998) on PBS and Further Tales of the City for Showtime in 2001.

Additional information about the upcoming sequel was posted on Maupin’s personal website:

“The series will be set in modern-day San Francisco, with 50-something Mary Ann Singleton returning to Barbary Lane,” as well as Michael Tolliver, who comes from “a difficult Christian family in Orlando.” Way before last week’s horrific events, Maupin had “already established 40 years ago that Michael’s parents were Florida orange growers, and his mother had joined the Anita Bryant crusade.”

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Tales of the City was first published as a weekly serial in the San Francisco Chronicle in 1976, eventually being turned into books that followed the characters in real time for the next four decades. Maupin’s description of the new series sounds like the plot from Mary Ann in Autumn, the eighth novel in the series.

While you’re waiting for the revival to become a reality, be on the lookout for a new documentary about the author, The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin, making the film festival rounds this summer.

The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin
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