Good news or best news? America’s gay figure skating Olympic medal scoring sweetheart, Adam Rippon, is developing a sitcom for NBC. Now, Rippon is unquestionably a world-class athlete. But if you’ve ever seen him on a talk show or, well, anywhere, you also know that he’s simultaneously built for the world of comedy, so this was kind of a no-brainer. The as-yet-untitled series will be set in the world of figure skating, naturally, and center on a female skater who battles injuries, her family and other skaters on the way to ice stardom. Grace and Frankie vet Billy Finnegan will write the series from Rippon and co-creator Susan Kittenplan’s story. No cast set yet, no dates, just a great plan, and we’re readier than ready.
In the early ’90s, when Fannie Flagg’s novel, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café was adapted to the big screen as Fried Green Tomatoes, the book’s lesbian themes were dialed way down. Ladies in love became very close friends and straight audiences were allowed to feel comfortable. But that was 30 years ago, straight audiences have evolved somewhat, and now NBC has put FGT back in development as a weekly dramatic series. Legendary progressive creator Norman Lear is executive producing, and Reba McEntire is attached to star. The story will revolve around Idgie (McEntire) – whose relationship with a woman was the center of the novel – returning to the small town where the first story took place and dealing with the events of the past. It’s early yet, and the fractured entertainment landscape makes no promises, but with TV production slowly ramping up again, then this one could see its way to screens sometime in 2021. And what nice news it could turn out to be; Primetime Lesbian Reba is absolutely something to hope for.
IMDb TV, Amazon’s free streaming service, is teaming up with recording artists Tegan and Sara Quin for High School, a coming-of-age comedy series based on the bestselling memoir the twin sisters co-wrote. Their situation was an unusual one and reflected in the story: twin sisters growing up, discovering themselves in music as an outlet and an identity, all while coming to terms with being queer. Adding another layer of queer cred, actor-director Clea DuVall (Happiest Season) is writing the pilot and will also direct, all for Brad Pitt’s Plan B production company. And now that you know IMDb has a streaming service – admit it, you didn’t until just now – you also have a reason to go there when High School drops there.
One of the many cultural accomplishments of RuPaul’s Drag Race is something that few high school guidance counselors could have predicted: the emergence of drag as a viable career path. But now we’re here in a world where Trixie and Katya have had their own TV show, books, and tours, and what drag-obsessed teen wouldn’t consider the glamorous possibilities? Well, based on a true story, they say, comes Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, the film adaptation of the hit stage musical about a 16-year-old named Jamie (newcomer Max Harwood) who, while trying to find his place in the world, decides that drag queen stardom is his future. And because this is a musical, that happy ending is assured, thanks to supportive friends and parents (Catastrophe star Sharon Horgan and Can You Ever Forgive Me? Oscar nominee Richard E. Grant co-star) who help him realize his destiny in the spotlight. And perfect timing: 20th Century Studios is set to release the film in February of 2021, in the middle of what pandemic experts are predicting will be a pretty tough winter. We’re all going to need Jamie’s queer blast of sunshine, music, dancing, and wigs by then.