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Netflix picks up new Tales of the City series

Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis will reprise their roles as Mary Ann Singleton and Anna Madrigal in a 10-episode series set to debut next year.

tales-of-the-city-script

Laura Linney, seen here in the original 1994 Tales of the City series, will return as Mary Ann Singleton. 

Getty Images

One of the greatest literary sagas about San Francisco will return to TV in 2019. Netflix has ordered a 10-episode series revival of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City, the company announced Tuesday  

The series, set to begin production later this year, is more a sequel than a reboot of the original miniseries that ran on PBS in 1994. Based on the description in Netflix's press release, it should follow the plot of Mary in Autumn, Maupin's eighth Tales of the City book published in 2010.

Laura Linney will reprise her role as Mary Ann Singleton, the naive San Francisco newbie from Cleveland who becomes a television talk show host. Set in the present day, the revival depicts Mary Ann returning to San Francisco to escape a failing marriage, two decades after moving to New York to follow her career. While enduring a health crisis, she quickly reunites with her friends and former 28 Barbary Lane landlady, the transgender Anna Madrigal (played again by Olympia Dukakis).

Ellen Page will appear as Shawna, Mary Ann's adult daughter, and Barbara Garrick will return as Mary Ann's friend, the wealthy lesbian socialite DeDe Halcyon Day. Netflix hasn't yet announced who will play other central characters like Michael Tolliver, but it did tease a page of the script in a tweet.

tales-of-the-city-script

A page of the script of the new Takes of the City series as tweeted by Netflix. 

Netflix

Lauren Morelli, a writer and co-executive producer of Netflix's Orange Is the New Black, will be the writer, showrunner, and one of the executive producers. Maupin and Linney also will executive-produce along with Alan Poul, who produced the 1994 series, will be the director and another executive producer. Michael Cunningham, author of several novels including The Hours and Flesh and Blood, will be a consulting producer.

Published as a newspaper serial and then as a book in 1978, the first Tales of City book centered on intertwining stories and improbable situations set in a freewheeling and pre-HIV San Francisco amidst real life events. Its positive depictions of LGBT people were rare at the time and later generated much controversy when it first made it to the small screen. in later books in the series, Maupin was one of the first writers to address the AIDS crisis. 

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