‘How to Survive a Plague’ to Become ABC Miniseries

David France's acclaimed documentary How to Survive a Plague is being developed into ABC's first miniseries in more than five years, reports the Hollywood Reporter:

StaleyIdeally, the scripted adaptation, which is in its early days of development, will go broader and deeper. “We know we’d like it to be an extended story that’s not just about AIDS and what AIDS wrought but about this tremendous civil rights movement that grew from the ashes of AIDS and the dawn of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement,” France tells The Hollywood Reporter.

His producing partner Howard Gertler echoes that sentiment. "We’re excited about the opportunity to delve into more of the personal stories of the characters that you followed in the documentary," he says. "People got a sense from the doc that many of the activists were soldiers drafted into a war that perhaps they were not ready to fight but that they had trained themselves for, and we really want to show a wide audience how that happened."

France had been toying with the idea of a TV adaptation for more than a year, but at that time the miniseries genre was of little appeal to networks.

And there's more footage to be revealed:

Much like the film, the mini-series — which will count France, Gertler and new addition John Lyons as executive producers — will offer unfettered access to an array of never-before-seen footage from the 1980s and ’90s. "These activists may have had to train themselves for the battle, but they were incredibly media savvy and were constantly filming everything," explains Lyons. "So there's this treasure trove of this archival material, which we think can be cleverly introduced into the storytelling."


  1. Peter says

    Get ready for One Million Moms and the other hater organizations to start screaming that the mini-series advances goal 6,780 of the Radical Homosexual Agenda.

  2. UFFDA says

    And here’s what the Fundamentalists will say: It’s the history of sin, that’s what it is, and how sin caused a big disease, sent by God, that killed off the sinners. But sin is never over because it’s starting all over again with new strains of Satan’s disease, and now the sinners can even get married and God is getting angrier by the day. If you watch this series you will get what you deserve.

    It’s a war boys. I certainly hope that for starters the producers will emphasize that millions of gay people are living today and always have existed and that their true history starts with many outstanding, philosophers, writers, musicians, warriors and civic leaders from Plato and Alexander the Great to…oh you name them…there are so many.

  3. bobbyjoe says

    Yep, the Fundies ain’t gonna be happy with ABC.

    They should try boycotting Disneyworld again, ’cause that went so well the first time.

  4. heydave says


    This “incredible civil rights movement” didn’t grow out of the ashes of AIDS. Barbara Gittings and Frank Kameny were media savvy back in the mid-Sixties and had the balls to picket with signs in front of the White House. Stonewall was our first explosion of fury and the Dan White riots shot our anger sky high. Then along came AIDS and it threatened to stop and literally end us. So we fought back. ACT UP was formed and resurrected the Zap tactics that GAA successfully used in the early 70’s. And we got through the 1980s and into the 1990s.

    We have persevered through all these modern times and we continue to fight. I hope we always will. But the idea of connecting the genesis or rebirth of our movement to the fight for AIDS treatment and research doesn’t quite seem right to me. The struggle for equality encompasses so much more: passing ENDA–which we’ve been trying to do in one form or another since the 1970s; repealing DOMA; etc.

  5. UFFDA says

    HEYDAVE – “Children” ? it would serve to not be quite so condescending.
    The mass of straight folk have never heard of anything but AIDS, deal with it.

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