Created by George Pelecanos and David Simon and starring James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, the show chronicles the rise of the porn culture in New York from the early 1970s through the mid-1980s. Titled after the local slang for the city’s fabled 42nd Street, The Deuce explores the rough-and-tumble world of the sex trade from the moment when both a liberalizing cultural revolution in American sexuality and new legal definitions of obscenity created a billion-dollar industry that is now an elemental component of the American cultural landscape. It follows a cast of barkeeps, prostitutes, pimps, police and nightlife denizens as they swirl through a world of sex, crime, high times and violence and the porn business begins its climb from mafia-backed massage parlors and film labs to legitimacy and cultural permanence.
“We are thrilled to continue our creative collaboration with master storytellers David Simon and George Pelecanos,” said Casey Bloys, president HBO programming. “Their unique gift for immersing the audience in their dark and edgy worlds brings a brilliant verisimilitude unlike any other. With the remarkably talented Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco leading an exceptional cast, we look forward to delving deeper as this captivating story evolves.”
Said Simon: “Everyone involved with this project is genuinely grateful to HBO for the chance to take the narrative where it needs to go. We knew the theme and purpose of the story, but there are many people in the entertainment industry who might not have it told — or worse, would have told it for the wrong reasons. HBO is a serious outfit. And they don’t scare.”
Added Pelecanos: “Many thanks to HBO, our longtime partners, who’ve now given us the opportunity to continue to tell this compelling story. We’re ready to get back to work with our amazing cast and crew.”
The Deuce, which began its eight-episode first season Sunday, is executive produced by Pelecanos, Simon, Nina Kostroff Noble and Franco; the pilot was executive produced by Michelle MacLaren, who also directed the pilot and final episode of the first season.