Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels (Precious) is teaming with Emmy-nominated writer W. Merritt Johnson (Temple Grandin) and the Showtime network to develop a new drama series set in New York City's contemporary "Ball house scene." Made famous by the 1990 Jennie Livingston documentary Paris is Burning, Ball subculture has for years been a haven for many of the black and Latino members of the city's LGBT community. If the project makes it to series, it could be a tremendous boon for representations of LGBT people of color, not to mention the transgender community, whom Ball culture actively celebrates.
Ball subculture consists of fraternity/sorority-like "houses" that face off against one another in contests of posing, dance, and of course "voguing," an exhibition of rapid posing adopted and made famous in the 90's by pop-star Madonna. These exuberant performance competitions were also recently depicted in the independent film Leave it On the Floor, which recently screened at the Toronto Film Festival.
No estimated production date for the project has yet been announced, but we're still very excited by the project. LGBT people of color and the transgender community remain two of the most underrepresented groups in the media, and an entire series depicting their stories from the network that brought us Queer as Folk and The L Word would certainly be reason for celebration. In the meantime, you can watch a clip from the excellent Paris is Burning below.