Olivia Newton-John, Rue McClanahan, Bonnie Bedelia, Caroline Rhea, and
Leslie Jordan: they’re just the most well-known of what is one of the best casts ever assembled for a television series.
The first season of the 12-episode series also includes cameos by Margaret
Cho, Carson Kressley, Dirty Sexy Money’s
Candis Cayne, All My Children’s
Bobbie Eakes, and Georgette Jones, the daughter of Tammy Wynette.
But Sordid Lives: The Series, the
project in question, isn’t appearing on one of the broadcast networks, or even
a major cable network with the accompanying deep financial pockets. Instead,
it’s the latest offering from the GLBT television network Logo (which owns
“It was a dream cast,” Del Shores, the series’ creator, as well as its
writer, director, and one of its producers tells AfterElton.com. “It was an amazing experience many
Photo credit: Rosemary Alexander
The series is a prequel to Shores’ 1999 movie of the same name, which
starred many of the same actors. It tells the very campy story of the loves and
lives of one very Southern Texan family.
In addition to featuring gay icons like Olivia Newton-John and Golden Girl Rue McClanahan in the cast, Sordid Lives includes gay male
characters such as Leslie Jordan’s Brother Boy, a Tammy Wynette impersonator,
and Jason Dottley’s Ty Williamson, a young actor coming to terms with his being
Leslie Jordan (left) & Jason Dottley
Shores credits Stan Brooks and Damian Ganczewski of Once Upon a Time Films
for making the series a reality. But the idea for the series came from Dottley,
who also happens to be Shores’ husband, when Dottley pointed out that the movie
had gained a cult following over the years.
“And so I took it to Logo,” Shores says, adding that he was quickly told,
“You know we’re new. We don’t have this kind of budget. I don’t think that we
are going to be able to afford this show.”
Shores got creative, offering to write and direct all the episodes himself
over a very short time-span. “We shot for 36 days in Shreveport, Louisiana,”
he says. “It was fast and furious.”
Next Page! Olivia Newton-John with a Southern accent?!