'Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City': Ellen Page Joins Laura Linney, Olympia Dukakis in Netflix Sequel

Former 'Orange Is the New Black' writer Lauren Morelli will serve as showrunner on the follow-up, with Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis returning to reprise their roles.
Left, David Livingston/Getty Images; Right, courtesy of Netflix
Ellen Page (left), Lauren Morelli

It's official: Netflix is reviving Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City as a 10-episode limited series.

The streaming giant on Tuesday confirmed the 10-episode sequel to the Showtime/PBS take on the LGBT-themed novel. Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis are confirmed to reprise their roles as Mary Ann Singleton and Anna Madrigal, respectively, from the original series. Barbara Garrick also will return as DeDe Halcyon Day. The Netflix take also has enlisted Ellen Page, who will play Shawna. Lauren Morelli (Orange Is the New Black) has joined the production and will serve as writer and showrunner.

Based on the books by Maupin, Tales of the City follows Mary Ann (Linney), who returns home to San Francisco and is reunited with her daughter (Page) and ex-husband Brian 20 years after leaving them behind to pursue her career. Fleeing the midlife crisis that her picture-perfect Connecticut life created, Mary Ann returns home to her chosen family and will quickly be drawn back into the orbit of Anna Madrigal (Dukakis) and the residents of 28 Barbary Lane.  

Maupin wrote nine novels in the Tales of the City series, which led to three Tales of the City limited series starring Linney and Dukakis. Alan Poul served as producer of the three adaptations (Tales of the City, More Tales of the City, Further Tales of the City), which earned a Peabody Award and multiple Emmy Award nominations. Maupin and Poul return to executive produce the Netflix take, with the latter also on board to direct. Linney also will be credited as an exec producer. The series hails from Working Title Television and NBCUniversal International Studios. Working Title's Andrew Stearn, Liza Chasin, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner also will exec produce, while Michael Cunningham is set as a consulting producer.

"I couldn't be more excited about this brand-new incarnation of Tales. It's set in present-day San Francisco with all the joys and complications that might suggest for the residents of 28 Barbary Lane," Maupin said in a statement. “Mrs. Madrigal's tenants, both old and new, will be entangled in delicious new adventures and ever-expanding possibilities for love."

Added Morelli, who met her now-wife Samira Wiley on Orange Is the New Black during her time working on the Netflix series and shared the first page of the premiere's script (above): "The magical, vivid world that Armistead Maupin built in Tales of the City is one that offered so many — particularly the LGBTQ+ community — a home for the first time. For many, Tales was the first time they saw themselves on screen. I am humbled to now find my own home within Tales and to continue telling Armistead’s stories."

Added Poul: "For me, the opportunity to come back to a series I started work on 25 years ago is the homecoming of a lifetime. There's never been a better moment to reignite Armistead's timeless take on family and community, and I'm thrilled to be collaborating with such a brilliant mix of old friends and new."

Production on Tales of the City is expected to begin later this year for a 2019 debut.

Page, who next stars in Netflix's Umbrella Academy, is repped by WME and Morris Yorn; Linney, who also stars on Netflix's Ozark, is with ICM Partners, Lighthouse Management and Morris Yorn; Dukakis is repped by Innovative; Morelli is with CAA, Wirehouse Entertainment and Gang Tyre; and Garrick is repped by CornerStone Talent Agency.

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