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The premium cable network has handed out a pilot order to a relationship drama Open, from Murphy and Dexter‘s Lauren Gussis, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Open is described as a multi-character exploration of the complex, ever-evolving landscape of sexuality, monogamy and intimacy in relationships. Murphy and Gussis penned the pilot and will executive produce. Glee and American Horror Story‘s Dante Di Loreto will executive produce for Ryan Murphy Television and 20th Television’s cable arm Fox 21. (Murphy is under an overall deal at 20th.)
Casting on Open, which landed at HBO following a multiple network bidding war, will begin immediately ahead of a fall production start date.
The drama pilot marks Murphy’s second project at HBO and joins his adaptation of Larry Kramer’s Tony-winning play The Normal Heart. Production on Normal Heart, which Murphy will executive produce and direct, will begin this year with a premiere eyed for 2014. Jason Blum, Dede Gardner and Di Loreto also will executive produce.
The project comes at a busy time for Murphy. The prolific showrunner is in talks with studio 20th and Fox for Glee‘s fifth season renewal and is prepping the third season of FX anthology American Horror Story, titled Coven. His freshman comedy The New Normal recently wrapped its first season on NBC and remains on the bubble for next season. Meanwhile, the fate of Oxygen’s Glee reality competition spinoff The Glee Project also is up in the air as the NBCUniversal-owned cable network can’t move forward with that show until Fox secures the future of Glee.
Open marks Murphy’s latest exploration of sexuality. The Nip/Tuck and Popular creator previously developed the transgender drama pilot Pretty/Handsome for FX, which starred Joseph Fiennes as a man exploring his sexuality.
The drama is 20th’s first project at HBO, which also has a Jonathan Groff comedy pilot about a group of gay friends in San Francisco, among others.
Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit
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