More than a year after ordering it to pilot, the premium cable network has opted to not move forward on the Glee and American Horror Story creator’s sexuality drama Open, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
“After such a triumphant collaboration with The Normal Heart, everyone felt that Open was not the right next step for all involved,” HBO programming president Michael Lombardo said in a statement. “However, we fully expect to work together again in the near future.”
Sources tell THR that HBO wanted to redevelop the drama but ultimately Murphy opted against reconceiving the pilot.
Open was a multicharacter exploration of the complex, ever-evolving landscape of sexuality, monogamy and intimacy in relationships. Murphy and Lauren Gussis (Dexter) penned the pilot and executive produced via 20th Century Fox Television, where the former is under a rich overall deal. Lombardo told reporters in July that HBO was looking to redevelop parts of the pilot when the actors all became available again.
“We’d love nothing more than to figure out something on the show, and we both agree there’s some stuff that needs to be done in the fall,” he said.
Fringe‘s Anna Torv, Scott Speedman (Felicity), Michelle Monaghan (True Detective) and Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games) starred in the pilot, which was one of four dramas in the works at HBO. (The cabler also passed on David Milch‘s Money and has a rock drama from MartinScorsese and Mick Jagger as well as high-profile drama Westworld and Laughs Unlimited, among others, still in the works.
Open was one of a growing list of projects HBO was developing from an outside studio. The premium outlet has a history of owning the bulk of its own series and is also teaming with Warner Bros. Television for its Westworld adaptation. Open received a straight-to-pilot pickup at HBO in April 2013, moving to the front of HBO’s development list thanks largely to Murphy’s stature and Open‘s subject matter.
Open is a rare miss for the prolific showrunner, whose HBO adaptation of The Normal Heart took home the Emmy for best TV movie and earned nine total nominations. (A sequel is already in the works.) Murphy’s last pilot that didn’t make the move to series was FX’s sexuality drama Pretty/Handsome in 2008 and before that, the former WB Network sitcom St. Sass. More recently, NBC picked up gay-themed family comedy The New Normal, which was canceled after one season.