FX said it ordered a new dance musical series from producer Ryan Murphy called Pose.
The series will feature the largest cast of transgender actors in regular roles and the largest recurring LGBTQ cast ever for a scripted television series.
Murphy has been a mainstay at FX and Fox, but there were reports that the proposed acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets by the Walt Disney Co. could lead Murphy to more seriously consider working for the streaming services Netflix or Amazon. But for now, his relationship with top Fox execs seems solid.
“I am thrilled to join forces with [FX Networks CEO] John Landgraf and FX Networks and FXP and Dana Walden, Gary Newman and Fox 21 Television Studios to present what I think is a game changer of a show, which at its heart is an uplifting series about the universal quest for identity, family and respect,” said Murphy in a statement.
“Along with being a dance musical and an affirming look at American life in the 1980s, I'm so proud that Pose and FX has made history right from the beginning by featuring the most trans series regular actors ever in an American television production. Additionally, the first season Pose will feature 50-plus LGBTQ characters – a record in American television history. I can't wait for people to see this incredibly talented, passionate cast,” Murphy said.
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Set in the 1980s, Pose looks at the juxtaposition of several segments of life and society in New York: the rise of the luxury Trump-era universe, the downtown social and literary scene and the ball culture world, the network said.
FX has ordered eight episodes for season one of Pose, which is scheduled to begin production in February in New York and premiere on FX in the summer of 2018.
“A decade ago, Ryan brought us the groundbreaking pilot script for Glee, a show that celebrated underdogs, proudly showcased a completely diverse cast of unknown actors and led the way for new norms of inclusion and diversity on television," commented Fox Television Group Chairman and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman. "In Pose, Ryan has again, with his gifted collaborators, placed a spotlight on people who have been marginalized in society, bringing together emotional stories and a hugely talented cast in an inspirational series."
In conjunction with Ryan Murphy’s Half Initiative, the series will be bringing on emerging transgender directors to be mentored through his Directing Mentorship Program.
Pose was written by co-creators and executive producers Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Steven Canals, with Murphy directing the first two episodes. Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson also serve as executive producers alongside fellow executive producers Alexis Martin Woodall, Sherry Marsh and Erica Kaye. Janet Mock and Our Lady J will also serve as producers. The series is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions.
Evan Peters and Kate Mara play New Jersey couple “Stan” and “Patty,” who get sucked into the glamour and intrigue of New York City in the 1980s. James Van Der Beek plays Peters’ financial kingpin boss “Matt.”
After a six-month nationwide search helmed by casting director Alexa Fogel, Murphy and his collaborators are making television history by assembling the largest cast of transgender actors in series regular roles ever for a scripted series. The transgender cast includes MJ Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore, Hailie Sahar and Angelica Ross. Also co-starring are Tony Award winner Billy Porter as well as newcomers Ryan Jamaal Swain and Dyllon Burnside.
The show reportedly had Orphan Black star Taitiana Maslany in the cast, but that part was rewritten, the network said.