On This Gay Day: The US version of ‘Queer as Folk’ launched

Queer As Folk

The American version of Queer as Folk began screening on this day in 2000

It’s 21 years since the US version of Queer as Folk made its debut. For five years the adventures of Michael, Brian, Justin Emmett, Ted, Lindsay and Melanie were essential viewing on Monday nights on SBS in Australia.

Based on the British show created by Russell T Davies, which was too controversial to air on Australian screens, the American version took the plot lines of the UK version and made them into their own story.

Set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania the show dived into the lives of a found family of queer characters. The pilot episode was directed by Australian filmmaker Russel Mulcahy who was one of the biggest music video directors of the 1980’s, and has gone on to become one of most successful film directors.

The series starred Gale Harold as lothario Brian Kinney, Hal Sparks played his best friend Michael Novotny, while newcomer Randy Harrison made his mark as Justin Taylor. Peter Paige portrayed Emmett Honeycutt, while Scott Lowell was Ted Schmitt. Thea Gill was Lindsey Peterson and Michelle Clunie was her partner Melanie Marcus.

Cagney and Lacey star Sharon Gless played Michael’s mother Debbie, while Robert Gant joined the show in it’s second year as Michael’s long term partner Ben Buckner – who is HIV positive.

In the years since it first aired the show has continued to find new fans, but the creators have also acknowledged there is a lack of diversity amongst the cast as all the main characters are white.

A reboot of the series is expected in 2022 with a whole new setting, stories and cast.

The reboot is being written by Stephen Dunn. Russell T Davies, who created the original show serves as an Executive Producer. The new version will follow a group of friends who lives are transformed in the aftermath of a tragedy.

Cast members for the new production were announced back in September.

Candace Grace will portray a non-binary professor navigating the rocky transition from punk to parenthood. The actor is also appearing in Acts of Crime, an upcoming series from the creator of Mr. Robot. 

Johnny Sibilly stars as a successful lawyer who is not as put together as he seems. Sibilly previously appeared in the first season of Pose where he played Costas, Pray Tell’s boyfriend who dies of AIDS-related illness, and you might have also recently spotted him as Wilson, the water maintenance worker in Hacks. 

Fin Argus will play a cocky high schooler whose confidence belies his lack of real-world experience. Angus previously appeared in the feature film Clouds and the TV series Agents of Shield. 

Devin Way will bring to life a charming and sometimes chaotic commitment-phobe who finds a reason to stay in New Orleans after tragedy rocks his community. Way has previously appeared in Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19. 

Ryan O’Connell, star of the hit Netflix series Special will also be in the show. O’Connell will portray a pop culture nerd with cerebral palsy who is more than ready for some independence.” On his Instagram, O’Connell joked, “I’m playing the gay one.”

They’ll all join Jesse James Keitel, who was previously announced as a cast member. The actor, who is non-binary, will play a young woman who is transgender. Her character is described as a party girl who is struggling to grow up.

Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall will appear in the series too.

OIP Staff

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