“Queer as Folk,” the groundbreaking Russell T. Davies series from the ’90s about three clubgoing men in Manchester’s gay village, will be reimagined by creator Stephen Dunn and Universal Cable Productions for Peacock.
The network announced a straight-to-series order of the reboot, which is described as a modern take on the original UK series that will chronicle the lives of a diverse group of friends in New Orleans whose lives are transformed in the aftermath of a tragedy. Variety exclusively reported that a “Queer as Folk” reboot was in the works at Bravo back in 2018, with the project eventually moving over to Peacock.
“’Queer as Folk’ was more than just a show, it was a ground-breaking and necessary voice for so many people. Stephen’s new version for Peacock arrives at yet another pivotal moment in our culture,” said Lisa Katz, president, scripted content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, in a statement. “Alex Sepiol, EVP of drama programming, and his team have championed this project from the first moment it landed on their desks, working to ensure the script became the series we’re announcing today. The entire team is so excited to be a part of introducing a new generation to this type of authentic and affirming storytelling.”
The original “Queer as Folk” ran for 10 episodes between 1999 and 2000 in the UK. It starred Aidan Gillen, Charlie Hunnam, and Craig Kelly. A North American remake was then launched in 2000 on the Canadian cable channel Showcase and the American channel Showtime. That series, set in Pittsburgh, ran for five seasons and starred Gale Harold, Randy Harrison, Hal Sparks, Peter Paige, and Scott Lowell. The original is currently available to stream on Pluto TV and holds an average of 100% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes for both audience and critic scores; the remake is currently available to stream on Hulu and holds an overall score of 8.3 (out of 10) on entertainment and media online database IMDB.
“’Queer as Folk’ is a transformative show, that in its past iterations, was a pioneer in the representation of the LGBTQ community and we’re excited to continue that legacy. Stephen Dunn brings an energy and modern lens to the series through characters we’ve fallen in love with,” said Beatrice Springborn, president of UCP.
“It is a surreal honor to adapt the notoriously groundbreaking series by Russell T. Davies. When the show originally aired, the idea of unapologetic queer stories on TV was so provocative that I felt I could only watch ‘Queer as Folk’ in secret,” added Dunn. “But so much has changed in the last 20 years and how wonderful would it be if the next generation didn’t have to watch ‘Queer as Folk’ alone in their dank basements with the sound muted, but with their family and friends and the volume cranked all the way to the max…”
Russell T. Davies, the creator of the original UK series, is onboard the new project as an executive producer. Stephen Dunn is attached to write, direct, executive produce and will also direct the pilot episode. Nicola Shindler of Red Productions, who executive produced the original show, will also executive produce along with Lee Eisenberg of Quantity Entertainment. Richard Halliwell will executive produce on behalf of Digital Rights Group (DRG), a NENT Studios company. DRG distributes the format. Emily Brecht of Quantity is co-executive producing.
In addition to creating “Queer as Folk,” Davies recently served as a writer and executive producer on the BBC-Amazon miniseries “A Very English Scandal” starring Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw. The show received three Golden Globe nominations, including best limited series. Dunn’s credits include co-writing and directing the Spirit Award and GLAAD Award-nominated episode “The Son” of the Apple TV+ series “Little America.” HIs debut feature, “Closet Monster,” had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2015, taking home the Canada Goose Award for Best Canadian Feature. Other than writing and directing “Queer as Folk” for Peacock, Dunn is adapting the novel “Yes, Daddy” at Amazon with Patrick Moran producing. He is repped by WME, Mosaic, and HJTH.