Forty years after the Chronicle first began to serialize it, Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City remains required reading for all new arrivals to San Francisco. Everyone paying $3,000 every month to rent half a micro-unit aspires to own their own home someday, but only the rare bird wants to become an eccentric-yet-kindly landlady who tapes joints to her tenants’ doors the way Anna Madrigal does.
Netflix, which has been awfully trigger-happy with the cancellation button — Sense8 and Girlboss, sniff sniff — is allegedly planning a new installment of PBS’ Tales mini-series, with Working Title Television U.S. Variety reports that Michael Cunningham, who wrote The Hours and By Nightfall, is set to write the first of the 10-part series, and Maupin would have an executive-producer credit.
The better news? Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis have signed on to reprise their roles as Mary Ann Singleton and Mrs. Madrigal, respectively. (Parker Posey had a bit part in the mid-’90s PBS series, too. A boy can dream!)
Just as with the current season of Twin Peaks, the new season would be set 25 years after the books’ main sequence, as Mary Ann returns to S.F. after a quarter-century away. It would likely track the later books in the series: Mary Ann in Autumn and Days of Anna Madrigal. For his part, Maupin has set that that last installment meant the end of the series. But he’d already ended it once before, so who knows?
And I once bartended at A.C.T. during the run of a play that the amazing, formidable Olympia Dukakis starred in. Her theatrical entrance required her to use the main elevator and we were told not to make eye contact with her, as she was not to be disturbed while in character. In other words, don’t mess, Netflix!