Ryan Murphy’s TV Ode to 80s New York Is Officially Coming to FX

It might sound like a Ryan Murphy fan’s most extravagant fever dream, but it’s official: FX has picked up Pose, the prolific TV maestro’s dance musical series, for an eight-episode debut season.

As previously described this spring when the project was first announced, Pose will be an ode to the opulence of 1980s New York—juxtaposing the rise of the luxury Trump-era universe, the downtown social and literary scene, and the world of drag culture. It will also feature the largest cast of transgender actors in regular series roles in scripted TV history, alongside stars Evan Peters, Kate Mara, and James Van Der Beek. (Peters and Mara, it’s worth noting, both worked with Murphy on American Horror Story; Peters has appeared in every season of that anthology, while Mara appeared as Hayden McClaine in Season 1.)

But here's what's perhaps most interesting: one role in the series—which Tatiana Maslany was originally set to play—has been re-written and re-cast. The Orphan Black star had been set to play a modern dance teacher, but in a press release issued Wednesday afternoon, FX noted that the role had been “reconceived and re-written to be a 50-year-old African-American woman.” Charlayne Woodard (of The Leftovers, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and ER) has taken over the modified role.

Peters and Mara will play a couple from New Jersey, Stan and Patty, “who get sucked into the glamour and intrigue of New York City in the 1980s.” Van Der Beek—whom viewers might recognize from Dawson’s Creek—will play a character named Matt, Peters’s financial kingpin boss. The series will also co-star Tony Award winner Billy Porter and newcomers Ryan Jamaal Swain and Dyllon Burnside, alongside a historically large trans cast that includes actors M.J. Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore, Hailie Sahar, and Angelica Ross. Murphy will also recruit trans directors, whom he will assist through his Directing Mentorship Program.

Murphy—who co-created the series with his frequent collaborators Brad Falchuk and Steven Canals—will serve as executive producer on the series, and plans to direct the first two episodes. Two fascinating additions to his usual team? Trans rights activist Janet Mock and trans singer-songwriter and Transparent writer__Our Lady J,__ who will both serve as producers. It appears that, in addition to its commitment to grandeur, Pose also wants to make sure it tells trans stories right. Murphy himself describes the show as a “game changer . . . 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,” Murphy continued in FX’s press release, “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 of Pose will feature 50-plus L.G.B.T.Q. characters—a record in American television history. I can’t wait for people to see this incredibly talented, passionate cast.”

The series will premiere next summer.

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Laura BradleyLaura Bradley is a Hollywood writer for VanityFair.com. She was formerly an editorial assistant at Slate and lives in Brooklyn.

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