Tales of the City

Showtime (ended 2001)


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Tales of the City

Show Summary

Tales of the City (and it's sequels) follow the soap-operaish lives of the people living in 1970's and 1980's San Francisco, and are based on Armistead Maupin's novels.

The show centers around Anna Madrigal, the eccentric landlady at 28 Barbary Lane (who welcomes her tenants by taping homegrown joints above their doors), her tenants and the others implicated in their lives. Tenants include Mary Ann Singleton, a naive midwesterner who moves to California to start a new life; Mona Ramsey, a **** who is unknowingly Mrs. Madrigal's daughter; Michael "Mouse" Tolliver, a gay Floridan who moved to California to avoid letting his parents find out he was gay and Brian Hawkins, a horny straight guy trapped in a gay city... People involved in their lives are Beachamp Day, Mary Ann's boss, and his wife DeDe; Edgar Halcyon, Anna's boyfriend, and his wife, Frannie who are DeDe's parents; Dr. Jon Fielding, the on-again-off-again boyfriend of Michael's; Mother Mucka, a whorehouse madame who is mother to Mrs. Madrigal; and Connie Bradshaw, a school friend of Mary Ann's; among others.

The show was originally produced for Britain's Channel 4 & USA's PBS. When PBS aired it in 1994, it broke their ratings records, and in 1998, Showtime and Channel 4 produced the follow-up, More Tales of the City. The latest series, Further Tales of the City aired on Showtime in May 2001 -- but was not aired in the UK. The other 3 "Tales" novels, Babycakes, Significant Others, and Sure of You, have not been adapted for TV as of yet (Just for the record, "Babycakes" is not in any way related to the film that starred Ricki Lake). According to Maupin's official site, a script for "Babycakes" is being developed as a two-hour telefilm -- though it's still in the developmental stage at this point.

There's been speculation about the departure of three of the leads from the original series, which was cleared up on Armistead Maupin's official site... Chloe Webb (Mona) asked for more money than they were offering, Paul Gross (Brian) was filming the TV series "Due South," and was therefore unavailable. Marcus D'Amico expressed "ambivalence" about reprising his role as Michael, so they recast the part.

If anybody has any information they would like to contribute to this guide, please feel free to! If you know of the European airdates, they would be greatly appreciated. Although many of the actors were credited as "stars," many only appeared in an episode or two, so I've tried to track down which episodes and list them as "guest stars."




    Four original series in works at Logo

  • Nina Foch

    Nina Foch

    Frances "Frannie" Alicia Ligon Halcyon (1994)

    Mary Kay Place

    Mary Kay Place

    Prue Giroux (2001)

    Laura Linney

    Laura Linney

    Mary Ann Singleton

    Olympia Dukakis

    Olympia Dukakis

    Anna Madrigal

    Donald Moffat

    Donald Moffat

    Edgar Halcyon (1994)

    More Info About This Show


    Drama, Suspense


    relationship woes, 90s, Love & Romance, life in a new city, dysfuntional families