HBO has certainly been on an LGBT roll recently, winning ratings and awards for Behind The Candelabra, backing the TV series Looking and documentaries such as The Case Against 8 and making The Normal Heart, which debuted to above average viewing figures for the pay-cable network last weekend.
Now it’s getting back in the gay business and it’s teaming up with Hairspray, Wedding Planner and Rock Of Ages director Adam Shankman to do it, according to THR. The former choreographer has sold Open City to the network, based on a script by feature writer David Kajganich.
The project ‘is set in the vibrant, turbulent John Lindsay-era New York of the late 1960s and explores characters from disparate corners of Manhattan as they navigate the cultural revolutions and political turmoil of the era. The drama will also examine the unlikely alliance between the Mafia and the city’s gay community in the opening of a West Village nightclub.
It has the potential to be an interesting look at the pre-Stonewall world, a time when, as that synopsis suggest, the mob was heavily involved in gay venues. It’s not because they liked gays, but because those wanting to start gay bars and nightclubs knew getting into business with the mob could actually help prevent the police shutting, due to the ‘protection’ they offered, which the Mafia would get a heavy chunk of the cash the place made.
Open City is getting some help from someone who was there at the time, as Ronnie Lorenzo, one of the original owners of the Stonewall Inn, will serve as a consulting producer.
It’s not clear exactly when the project will air.