HBO Orders Gay-Themed Jonathan Groff Series

HBO Dramedy Cast Jonathan GroffHBO has given the green light to an untitled San Francisco-set dramedy starring Glee‘s Jonathan Groff.

Based on a feature script penned by Michael Lannan, the untitled eight-episode series centers on the three Bay Area friends enjoying what life has to offer a new generation of gay men. Murray Bartlett (Guiding Light) and Frankie J. Alvarez (Smash) co-star, with Andrew Haigh (Gladiator), David Marshall Grant (Brothers & Sisters) and Sarah Condon (Bored to Death) exec-producing.

RELATED | HBO Renews Veep for Season 3

Groff — whose other recent credits include Starz’s ill-fated Boss and The Good Wife — will next be seen as a love interest of Friday Night Lights‘ Taylor Kitsch in the Ryan Murphy-helmed HBO film The Normal Heart.

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  1. Mike says:

    Is this like a new version of Queer as Folk?

    • Sam says:

      Have you seen Haigh’s “Weekend?” It’s about as far from Queer as Folk as you can get while the leads are still queer men.

      • Mike R. says:

        No I haven’t, but no need for the snark, I’ve never watched enough of these shows to know what exactly they are about, I apologize.

      • dude says:

        It’s not like TV is littered with shows exclusively about gay men. I wouldn’t react as if the comparison was such a reach.

        • Sam says:

          Shallow, brass, and raunchy vs. intimate, moving, and realistic. The only comparison is that they both have gay characters as leads. Forgive me if I find it more than a little misguided to compare them based on that one factor.

          • Adam says:

            There are plenty of gay films out there – not many mainstream – but very few television series with the primary focus on gay characters that aren’t on Logo. A gay film can tell a ninety minute to two hour story focusing on a small handful of gay themes or issues, while a gay television series can spend a lot more time and address a lot more issues. Queer as Folk and The L-Word are the only two shows that come to mind (again, not on Logo) – one predominately about gay men and the other predominately about gay women – so the comparison to Queer as Folk isn’t unfair.

          • Jake Jackson says:

            :”Intimate”? “Moving”? Having lived in San Francisco as a young gay man in his early 30’s, that doesn’t sound very “realistic” to me. Take a walk through the Castro and report back. Most young men in their early 30’s — straight or gay — aren’t sitting at home on a Saturday night writing poetry. They’re doing… other things that you think are “shallow” and “raunchy.” “Queer As Folk” told the truth about what gay life in the big city is like. If it offends your refined sensibilities, too bad. And if you’d actually watched the entire show, you’d know it was neither shallow or raunchy. It addressed every issue that gay people must deal with: gaybashing, AIDS, drug use, parental rejection, marriage, adoption, infidelity, political and religious discrimination, and yes, sexuality. Finally, for the first time in the history of television, gay men weren’t portrayed as sexless buffoons. And it did it all with humor and heart. And it did it 12 years ago. “Groundbreaking.” “Courageous.” “Honest.” QAF told the truth about the entire spectrum of gay life. Spare us the hypocrisy.

          • Sean says:

            @ Jake Jackson Well said. QaF is in television olympus, as far as I’m concerned.

  2. Sam says:

    The TV gods must have heard my prayers. I’m officially letting HBO off the hook for not picking up “The Miraculous Year.” Even though robbing me of a Norbert Leo Butz-Lee Pace television coupling is nearly unforgivable.

  3. Danny says:

    I am all for it we need MORE shows with gay men on television! Far too long on television gay men are reduced to secondary roles or our sexuality downplayed. Since this show is going to be on HBO I think it is going to be good!

    • Tee says:

      As much I as agree, lesbian characters on TV tend to be treated even worse than gay males (with the exception of one or two shows), not to mention bisexual and transgender and other non cishet people. Honestly, while I am quite excited about this show, gay men are the most represented in the LGBTQI* community (other people lacking in representation would also be queer POC, as a majority of queer characters – from what I’ve seen – on TV are still white).

      Still, I’m hoping this show will be good!

  4. Brandy says:

    Umm… why only 8 episodes? Shouldn’t it be like 12?

    • jasie says:

      No often they do 8 ep orders for first season comedies. Veep only had 8 for season 1.

      • The Beach says:

        Thanks for clearing that up. I was disappointed to read it was only an 8 ep order too. Hopefully it will be really good and get renewed for a longer season like Veep, which is an excellent show

  5. Thea says:

    Somewhere, Lin-Manuel Miranda is weeping tears of joy. Yay Groffsauce!

  6. Tierna says:

    Ugh, can you please stop putting what else these actors have been on in parentheses when they were something like “Actor #6”? I get so tired of looking these people up, wondering who they were on a show I loved and I somehow overlooked, only to find out they were a glorified extra on one ep. Either that, or just link their names to their IMDB pages, pretty please. :)

    • The Beach says:

      Thank you. I was trying to figure out who Frankie J. Alvarez was from “Smash”. I googled him and he is indeed “Actor #6” whatever that means. His picture didn’t ring any bells either.

  7. Zachary says:

    I read the script, there are no traces of humor. Groff is a likable guy, but that can only get a show so far.

  8. Dizzle says:

    So, it’s “Girls” for us gays? I’m in.

  9. Midori says:

    Can’t be worse than the mess QaF became in the last couple of seasons.

    • Richard Meridan says:

      On the contrary, I thought the last two seasons of QAF were their best. The storyline about adopting the HIV+ teen whose mother had forced him into prostitution was quite moving. The story about the gay viligante group was very disturbing. And the last season, which focused on the division within the gay community between those who want to preserve the gay lifestyle the way it is and those who want to marry, move to the suburbs and raise families, is exactly what’s going on today, 8 years later. QAF couldn’t catch a break. Bashed not by straight people, but by its own. Hope “The New Normal” and HBO’s Liberace biopic are more to everyone’s liking .At least the characters on QAF weren’t victims. Or ashamed. Or dead. Maybe that was the problem. They were brave, unapologetic and sexual. Maybe gay men are more threatened by that image of themselves than straight men.

  10. O'Brien says:

    Love seeing Jonathan Groff out there. In my dream of dreams, there would be a crossover with “Newsroom” where Groff and John Gallagher, Jr., would sing together, and I would die happy forever.

  11. Morgen says:

    Murray Bartlett ~ yum! Can’t wait!

  12. Tim says:

    if executed well, this will be a hit—straight women will eat it up too

  13. K. R. says:

    This is gonna be great! I just want to know when it airs. (?)
    Jonathan Groff is such a great actor, I’m thrilled!

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