“Pose” co-creator Steven Canals is developing a new limited series titled “81 Words,” which will explore the historic effort by a group of medical professionals to change the definition of homosexuality from being classified as a mental illness. The logline: “Until 1974, the medical establishment considered gay people sexually deviant and diagnosed them as mentally ill. 81 Words tells the true story of gay activists Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings, who risked their career and reputation to conspire with the GAYPA — a clandestine group of closeted psychiatrists — and challenge the American Psychiatric Association’s definition of homosexuality.”
Canals, who has been recognized with a Peabody award and an Emmy nomination for his work on “Pose,” will write and executive produce the miniseries alongside producers Bennett Singer, Patrick Sammon and Spiegel. Singer and Sammon also serve as directors for the soon-to-be-released PBS Independent Lens documentary “Cured,” based on the same installment of “This American Life.”
The limited series will be developed by 20th Century Fox TV and marks the first project from Canal’s overall deal with the production company announced earlier this year.