Showtime develops coming-out series
'Way Out' to feature revelations by closeted individualsShowtime is developing a reality series documenting gay people coming out to friends and family.
The project is titled "Way Out." In each episode, a closeted individual reveals their true sexual orientation during a group meeting.
Showtime has ordered a pilot presentation from Bryn Freedman, a former journalist and executive producer of A&E's "Intervention," as part of its effort to bolster its unscripted slate.
"It's a show that has universal appeal because everybody can relate to having part of their lives hidden," said Freedman, who is executive producing the project with Evan Weiss and Mark Degenkolb. "The show is all about getting to know the person -- why they have been reluctant to come out and what it looks like to be living a lie, (and) what it is like when people are trying to set you up with dates."
"Out" will show the person's closeted life, document the moment they reveal their orientation to friends and family, then chart how relationships are changed. Although still in the pilot stage, Showtime is enthusiastic about the project. Like the acclaimed "Intervention," which prompted controversy before its debut, Freedman expects that "Out" could provoke strong reactions.
"Before the show comes out, I think people will have a lot of concerns about it," she said. "But like with 'Intervention,' people see we're treating this subject with absolute respect and care and expect it will open a lot of hearts and minds."
Showtime executives have ordered a few other reality projects into development this year, seeking formats with grown-up themes that make sense for a network with a lack of content boundaries.
The first title scheduled likely to hit the air is "Lock n' Load," a six-episode series that plays like HBO's "Taxicab Confessions" set in a Colorado gun store.