FX has given a series order to Pose, the dance musical from Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson and Brad Falchuk that stars Evan Peters, Kate Mara and James Van Der Beek. The network has ordered eight episodes for Season 1, which is scheduled to begin production in February in New York. It’s slated to premiere on FX in summer 2018.
The history-making Pose, which received a pilot order in March, will feature the largest transgender series regular cast, as well as the largest LGBTQ cast ever for a scripted series. The trans actors were cast after a six-month nationwide search led by casting director Alexa Fogel. They are MJ Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Dominique Jackson, Hailie Sahar and Angelica Ross. All will be playing transgender characters. Also co-starring are Tony winner Billy Porter as well as newcomers Ryan Jamaal Swain and Dyllon Burnside. In the photo above, Moore as Angel competes in the 1987 ballroom category in a scene from the pilot. Ballroom legends and survivors served as consultants.
“I am thrilled to join forces with John Landgraf and FX Networks and FXP and Dana Walden, Gary Newman and Fox 21 Television Studios to present what I think is a game changer of a show, which at its heart is an uplifting series about the universal quest for identity, family and respect,” said Murphy. “Along with being a dance musical and an affirming look at American life in the 1980s, I’m so proud that Pose and FX has made history right from the beginning by featuring the most trans series regular actors ever in an American television production. Additionally, the first season Pose will feature 50-plus LGBTQ characters – a record in American television history. I can’t wait for people to see this incredibly talented, passionate cast.”
Set in the 1980s, Pose looks at the juxtaposition of several segments of life and society in New York: the rise of the luxury Trump-era universe, the downtown social and literary scene and the ball culture world. Peters and Mara star as New Jersey couple Stan and Patty, who get sucked into the glamour and intrigue of New York City in the 1980s, along with Van Der Beek, who plays Peters’ financial kingpin boss Matt.
Tatiana Maslany was originally reported cast in the project. That role was re-conceived and re-written to be a 50-year-old African-American woman, who will be played by Charlayne Woodard (The Leftovers, Law & Order: SVU).
Pose was written by co-creators and executive producers Murphy, Falchuk and Steven Canals, with Murphy directing the first two episodes. Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson also serve as executive producers alongside fellow executive producers Alexis Martin Woodall, Sherry Marsh and Erica Kaye. Janet Mock and Our Lady J will also serve as producers. The series is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions.
“In the 15 years we’ve worked with Ryan, he has demonstrated time and again that every person’s story is joyful, illuminating, and must to be told,” said John Landgraf, CEO, FX Networks and FX Productions. “With Pose, Ryan, and his producing partners Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Brad Falchuk and Steven Canals, introduce us to a new group of characters whose talent, life force, and self-made community is greater than the daunting obstacles created by a society that can be threatened by their native identities.”
“A decade ago, Ryan brought us the groundbreaking pilot script for Glee, a show that celebrated underdogs, proudly showcased a completely diverse cast of unknown actors and led the way for new norms of inclusion and diversity on television,” commented FTG chairman and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman. “In Pose, Ryan has again, with his gifted collaborators, placed a spotlight on people who have been marginalized in society, bringing together emotional stories and a hugely talented cast in an inspirational series.”
In conjunction with Ryan Murphy’s Half Initiative, the series will be bringing on emerging transgender directors to be mentored through his Directing Mentorship Program.