‘Tales of the City’

(Photo: Scene from the original ‘Tales of the City’)

Netflix’s 10-episode drama Tales of the City, dropping tomorrow, is a sequel. So you may well want a refresher on — or introduction to — the original series.

If so, you can stream the original six-episode Tales of the City — Armistad Maupin’s account of an innocent woman who moves to 1970s San Francisco — on Acorn TV. The subscription service comes with a seven-day free trial, followed by a monthly cost of $4.99, the same price as buying individual episodes of Tales of the City from Google Play.

That miniseries, starring Laura Linney in her breakout role of Mary Ann Singleton, premiered in the UK 26 years ago and in the US a year later – where its nudity, gay themes and depictions of drug use helped make it PBS’ highest rated dramatic show to that point.

In addition to Linney, the cast included Olympia Dukakis as Anna Madrigal, landlady of Singleton’s new residence at 28 Barbury Lane. They reprise their roles in the Netflix reboot, set in present-day San Francisco. Ellen Page also stars as Singleton’s daughter.

Linney and Dukakis, as well as other stars of the original miniseries like Parker Posey, Barbara Garrick and Billy Campbell, previously reprised their roles in two Showtime sequels: More Tales of the City (six episodes, 1998) and Further Tales of the City (three episodes, 2001).

Neither of those two sequels are available for viewing anywhere at this time, so we’ll settle for this trailer for More Tales:

All the TV adaptations feature characters from Maupin’s Tales of the City book series, now numbering nine titles. Maupin is also an executive producer of the Netflix series.

(The above is an updated version of a previously published article.)

About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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