It looks like Ryan Murphy may have found a home for his and Lauren Gussis’ TV pilot. As we predicted, HBO has given a pilot order to “Open”, a project best described as an exploration of human sexuality and relationships. Murphy and Gussis wrote the pilot for Fox 21, the relatively new cable production division of 20th Century Fox. It’s their first pilot to be picked up by HBO. Casting for the project is expected to begin pretty soon, and filming will start this coming autumn.
“Open” marks the second Murphy-helmed project to be picked up by HBO. As a passion project Murphy will be directing an adaptation of Larry Kramer’s play “The Normal Heart”. This made-for-TV movie, which chronicles the rise of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in New York City just before the turn of the century, will star Matt Bomer (with whom Murphy has worked on both “Glee” and “The New Normal”) and Mark Ruffalo.
During the pre-production process on the film HBO president Michael Lombardo got to know Ryan Murphy (as well as his talent). Subsequently he got the call about the pilot for “Open” and, in his words, he was hooked. Lombardo says of the project, “I think it is a perfect marriage of an idea and execution. This is an area we’ve been talking about doing something in for some time, and Ryan did it in a way that is enormously engaging.” “Open” concerns itself with five main characters, described on Deadline as including “a married couple of thirtysomethings, the husband’s male co-worker and a woman in her 40s who is a yoga professional” Of finding a home with HBO for his pilot, Murphy said, “They have great projects, and this is really an adult show that is very frank in its depiction of sex.” It seems like HBO will make a perfect home for “Open”, doesn’t it?
Evidently Murphy had been tossing around ideas for a show like this when Dante Di Loreto heard that Lauren Gussis was working on something similar, and brought the two together. Evidently Murphy and Gussis make a great team, because they produced a spec script together back in December. Evidently, according to Lombardo, Murphy and Gussis were able to take on the subject of monogamy and relationships “without feeling naval gazing and neurotic” by coming at the subject matter from a completely new approach.
With any luck HBO will elect to give “Open” a full season order, so keep your fingers crossed! And keep an eye on PopWrapped for any new developments.
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