A new show featuring a ton of transgender cast members is officially heading to the airwaves.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that out TV showrunner Ryan Murphy has enough to be getting on with running his three anthology shows – American Horror Story, American Crime Story, and Feud.
But Murphy and his Glee collaborator Brad Falchuk are behind a new TV show that was just greenlit by FX, and it sounds amazing.
Pose is set in 1980s New York, and portrays life in the city’s iconic queer ballroom culture, as most famously portrayed in the film Paris is Burning.
It also tackles other segments of New York society, juxtaposing the ballroom scene with the city’s creative hub and high-flying luxury business world.
But with its focus on the queer community, the show features a number of transgender characters.
And it has the most transgender actors and actresses on the cast of any show in US TV history.
MJ Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Dominique Jackson, Hailie Sahar, and Angelica Ross, all of whom are transgender, lead the cast.
American Horror Story’s Evan Peters is also set to appear, alongside House of Cards actress Kate Mara, James Van Der Beek and Charlayne Woodard.
But it’s not just in front of the camera that transgender people will have a say either.
Trans activists Janet Mock and Our Lady J are writing for the series, while the show will also work to bring through transgender directors through Murphy’s Directing Mentorship Program.
The show was given an official eight-episode order this week, cementing history as the most trans-inclusive TV show to make it to air.
Murphy said: “I am thrilled 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.
“”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.”
John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks and FX Productions, said: 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 be told.
“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.”
The show will enter production in February, and is expected to premiere in the summer of 2018.
The show’s co-creator Steven Canals said in a previous statement: “We are thrilled that Pose pushes the narrative forward by centering on the unique and under-told experiences of trans women and gay people of color.
“Ryan has assembled a strong team of storytellers and innovators to collaborate on telling this important narrative. As a Bronx-bred queer writer of color, I’m honored to aid in ushering this groundbreaking show into homes.”
American Horror Story actor Colton Haynes previously praised Murphy for casting LGBT talent in his shows.
The gay Teen Wolf and Arrow actor opened up about being snubbed by other execs for ‘action roles’.
He wrote: “Hollywood is so f**ked up. So much of the focus is on your personal life & has nothing to do with the talent you have to bring to the table.”
The actor went on to praise American Horror Story showrunner Ryan Murphy, Arrow exec Greg Berlanti and Teen Wolf creator Jeff Davis – the three gay execs who gave Colton all his biggest roles.
The actor wrote: “Thank god for Ryan Murphy, Greg Berlanti, & Jeff Davis. They believe gay actors are more than just their personal lives.
“So disappointed in how Hollywood cant understand that playing a character has nothing to do with h
He did not publicly single out any specific producer or studio who had refused to give him a part because of his sexuality.
However, the comments add fuel to the fire over long-running reluctance to cast LGBT actors in blockbuster films.
Cara Delevingne recently alleged that disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein told her that if she “was gay or decided to be with a woman especially in public” she would never get a role playing a straight character or “make it as an actress in Hollywood.