Picture it: 2018. Palm Springs. Three gay friends set out to rescue their fourth companion from an abusive and homophobic elderly home. How epic would that be?!
Entitled Silver Foxes, the upcoming single camera sitcom is being created by Stan Zimmerman and James Berg, two prolific gay, male writers who started their careers on the iconic The Golden Girls before moving on to projects like Roseanne, Gilmore Girls, and most recently, Secs & Execs (which was a pretty dang queer project!). The inspiration for Silver Foxes came from the documentaries Before You Know It (2013) and (the less positive) Gen Silent (2010), which both followed the lives of elderly LGBT people as they explored what it means for them to be queer and aging.
"Every one of us is getting older. Especially with gays and lesbians and transgender [people], we create our own families—and that’s what The Golden Girls did," Zimmerman said during a visit on Party Foul Radio with Pollo & Pearl, talking about the parallels between the two projects. "Those women came together and supported each other."
While there aren’t a lot of solid deets right now, there was a reading of a completed script which stared George Takei (Star Trek), Leslie Jordan (American Horror Story, and everything else ever), Emmy winner Bruce Vilanch (Hollywood Squares), Todd Sherry (Parks & Recreation), and Cheri Oteri (Saturday Night Live). A cast which, to be quite honest, sounds perfectly amazing as is. The men in charge have made it clear that hiring gay actors is a top priority.
The show will follow the adventures of three gay men, two of them in their twilight years, and one still a young buck, as they plot to rescue the fourth from a terrible nursing home and bring him back to live with them in Palm Springs. The show is being produced by Super Deluxe, and is being shipped around to both networks and streaming services. Silver Foxes, according to Zimmerman, has "much to offer the world, especially after...we had a president tweeting a trans ban in the Army and our own government arguing in court against basic rights for LGBTQ people in housing and employment."
"In this day and age, especially with gay and lesbian content, we can’t wait for other people to make it. We’ve got to make it ourselves – and that’s exactly what we did," Zimmerman said about both this, and his current project Secs & Execs. "Networks only allow one gay project a year. It’s an unwritten rule.We were told 'It’s great characters, we’ve never seen a relationship like this, but we’ve already got our gay show.'"
It’s spiritual predecessor, Golden Girls was always a head of its time too. A subversive show staring not just four women (who weren’t really dominating the sitcom market then), but four older women. Older women with active love lives, careers, and lots of sass. In fact, The Golden Girls originally started with a gay roommate in the pilot; Coco, played by Charles Levin. Coco was their live-in chef. A sorta servant/friend who was around to drop sassy lines in episode one, but disappeared by episode two when Sophia took his place as the sassy spitfire (though in the Greek version, he stayed around and just bunked up with Sophia!). That doesn’t mean that Golden Girls shied away from homosexual plots lines however. Hell, certain story lines, like when Dorothy’s lesbian friend comes to visit and falls in love with Rose, are handled with more nuance and humor than things you find on TV today. Homosexuality isn’t the only social issue the show tackled, and despite being a sitcom, it usually dealt with them with great tact and humor.
Will the two be set in the same universe? While not a formal reboot, there are rumors that there is a cameo in place for a certain Betty White.
Silver Foxes is currently in very early pre-production, so hopefully we’ll hear more about when we can see it soon! Until then, you can catch The Golden Girls streaming now on Hulu!