Pin It
Queer as Folk is officially getting a reboot
via Channel 4

Queer as Folk is officially getting a reboot

Russell T. Davies’ pioneering 90s show that broke ground for the LGBTQ+ community on screen is heading to America

“La!” – the rallying cry of the last iteration of lockdown, inspired by Russell T. Davies’ record-breaking TV series It’s A Sin. The show, starring Olly Alexander, chronicled the AIDs crisis, a beautiful queer chosen family, and the 80s cultural scene. With that, too, was a meditation on the rampant homophobia in the media and everyday life that the LGBTQ+ community had to deal with. 

Davies has been at the forefront of elevating LGBTQ+ representation on mainstream TV for years now, all the way back to his  pioneering series from 1999, Queer as Folk. Now, it has been announced that the series will have a brand new reboot – this time, it’s set in the United States. 

The original show, which firsted aired in 1999 and ran for five seasons until 2000, follows the story of three gay men in Manchester’s iconic gay village. The three leads – Aidan Gillen, Charlie Hunnam, and Craig Kelly – navigate complicated relationships, tear up the gay clubs, and sport the iconic lewks of the time with frosted tips and mesh tank tops, of course. But the reboot won’t follow the same plotlines or characters, and the 90s classic will be reimagined for an American audience by the award-winning writer and director, Stephen Dunn.

The next iteration of the cult classic comes after an earlier U.S. remake in 2000, set in Pittsburgh, which also aired on Showtime. But for Dunn's latest offering, the series will be set in New Orleans, documenting the lives of a diverse group of friends whose lives are drastically transformed following the aftermath of a tragedy. There’s no solid word yet on what the series will cover, but the U.S LGBTQ+ community has a myriad of stories and dynamics to pull from, from the clubbing scene to failures in healthcare, the rollback of LGBTQ+ rights, and the creative industries. The reboot will premiere on American streaming service Peacock.

Queer as Folk was more than just a show, it was a ground-breaking and necessary voice for so many people,” Dunn said in a statement. The series is written and executively produced by Dunn, who is set to direct the pilot episode, and produced by UCP, a division of the Universal Studio Group.

“Stephen’s new version for Peacock arrives at yet another pivotal moment in our culture,” said Lisa Katz, President, Scripted Content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “Alex Sepiol, EVP of drama programming, and his team have championed this project from the first moment it landed on their desks, working to ensure the script became the series we’re announcing today. The entire team is so excited to be a part of introducing a new generation to this type of authentic and affirming storytelling.”

President of UCP, Beatrice Springborn said: “Queer as Folk is a transformative show, that in its past iterations, was a pioneer in representation of the LGBTQ community and we’re excited to continue that legacy. Stephen Dunn brings an energy and modern lens to the series through characters we’ve fallen in love with. We can’t wait to bring it to Peacock for viewers to enjoy this visionary and vibrant show.” 

Davies also joins the show as an executive producer. With the reimagination of the cult classic comes the celebratory ethos of an era filled with joyful freedom, but more importantly, it’s another vital endeavour to combat the deficit of queer characters and storylines lines needed on our TV screens. Read back on how Davies’ It’s A Sin perfectly captured the enduring importance and vitality of the chosen queer family here.