Netflix is the home of a vast library of streaming TV series, some of which have been revivals of cancelled shows. Fans of projects like Arrested Development and Gilmore Girls have gotten brand new episodes streaming, years after the shows originally went off the air. Now, Netflix has a new revival in the works that, if ordered to series, will bring back characters who haven't been seen on the small screen since 2001. Tales of the City could be revived for another season on Netflix.
Based on a set of novels from author Armistead Maupin, Tales of the City has already run for three miniseries events. The first debuted in the U.S. on PBS in 1994, with 1998's More Tales of the City and 2001's Further Tales of the City airing on Showtime. The action was set back in the late 1970s in San Francisco. The Netflix revival would be set in the present day.
Stars Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis would reprise their roles for the new season of Tales of the City, with Linney's Mary Ann Singleton returning to San Francisco and staying at the 28 Barbary Lane boarding house for the first time in 25 years. She'll reunite with Dukakis' Anna Madrigal, who still runs the house after all this time. It's not yet known if any other original cast members are on board to tackle their Tales of the City roles yet again.
The project has not yet been ordered to series at Netflix, but Variety reports Michael Cunningham of The Hours has already written the first script of the intended 10-part series. Alan Poul of Six Feet Under and The Newsroom will direct, with book script Armistead Maupin serving as executive producer yet again.
A Netflix revival could afford Tales of the City some new opportunities. For one thing, a Netflix project wouldn't face the same restraints that kept PBS from airing the first broadcast uncensored, and the present day setting would give a brand new take on the world that has already been built. The books of Tales of the City were especially notable for tackling the issue of the AIDS crisis; a 2017 take on how the crisis has been handled could certainly be worth watching.
All things considered, a Tales of the City revival sounds quite different from past Netflix revivals, and it's difficult to say at this point if the Netflix format will be a good fit for such a project. It bodes well that the two original leading ladies are willing to reprise their roles, and there seems to be a solid team behind the scenes. We'll have to wait and see if Netflix does give the series order.