HBO Developing Gay Rights Drama Set in the 1960s from ‘Hairspray’ Director Adam Shankman

HBO has bought a gay 1960's TV drama from producer/director/choreographer Adam Shankman and screenwriter David Kajganich on the heels of the network's successful adaptation of The Normal Heart, according to The Hollywood Reporter:

ShankmanOpen City is set in the vibrant, turbulent John Lindsay-era New York of the late 1960s and explores characters from disparate corners of Manhattan as they navigate the cultural revolution and political turmoil of the era. The drama will also examine the unlikely alliance between the Mafia and the city's gay community in the opening of a West Village nightclub.

Kajganich (True Story) will write and executive produce the project. Shankman is on board to direct and executive produce. Jennifer Gibgot will also exec produce via Offspring Entertainment. Ronnie Lorenzo, one of the original owners of the Stonewall Inn, will serve as a consulting producer. The Stonewall Inn is a famous New York City bar and the setting of 1969's Stonewall riots, considered the birth of the gay rights movement and the fight for LGBT equality in the U.S.


  1. Millenial says

    Wow. I really am excited about this production.

    I’m looking forward to more gay related historical pics. I’m thirsty for gay history these days.

    Anyone have any suggestions for books specifically about gay history? Thanks.

  2. Brian W. says

    Sounds promising. I hope it fairs better than “The Playboy Club” on NBC which had an interesting early gay rights movement subplot.

  3. DavidR says

    Sounds very promising. Let’s hope that sissies, ‘ricans, and blacks will be more than just visible.

  4. Factoid says

    Can’t imagine them doing this without people of color but then I could not imagine they would Da Vinci straight

  5. Matziabb says

    @Factoid yeah I still can’t believe what they did with Da Vinci. They ruined his story completely.

  6. Qj201 says

    Will is be a prequel to Stonewall…following characters that wind up at Stonewall as the series finale…

    or will it be Queer as Mad Men?

  7. MaryM says

    ‘Hairspray’ director Adam Shankman is a talentless hack.

    ‘Hairspray’ director John Waters would be a better fit for this.


    MARYM: You seriously need a life. Every story you have to post some negative shiite. What a pathetic litte world you must live in.

  9. Adam says

    You know where I bet they got the idea for this? From The Playboy Club. There was a sub-storyline on the origins of the Mattachine Society.

  10. Eddie says

    How about they talk about the gays that weren’t in New York or San Francisco. I get tired of seeing the movies and tv shows about the gays in the big city. Queers are in the suburbs too, ya know

  11. RichardB says

    I lived those days so I’m interested to see just how accurate this will be. I do hope that mawkishness and sentimentality will be absent. The facts speak for themselves and require no embellishment.