HBO’s latest original series The Deuce is officially premiering this fall. According to a press release sent out by the network, the new series will debut on Sunday, September 10 at 9/8c.
The series, which is named after New York City slang for the fabled 42nd Street, stars James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Franco, along with George Pelecanos, David Simon, Nina K. Noble, will serve as executive producers. Season 1 will feature eight episodes during the same time slot as the premiere.
The Deuce takes place in the 1970s and 1980s in New York City during the rise in popularity of porn culture. Through the retelling of the sexual liberation and laws created to protect the powerful industry, the series will look at how porn not only changed New York City, but American culture as a whole.
Franco stars as Vincent Martino, a bar employee who reluctantly finds himself in the middle of the sex trade. Gyllenhaal plays Candy, an independent prostitute that refuses to use a pimp for employment. The Deuce also stars Michael Rispoli, Margarita Levieva, Dominique Fishback, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Emily Meade, Gary Carr, Sepideh Moafi, Kayla Foster, Lawrence Gilliard, Jr., and Chris Coy.
Season 1 will open in 1971 as it follows the life of prostitutes, pimps, bar owners, police and nightlife enthusiasts. The crimes, sex, and violence described in the time period will explain how the porn industry came to be. The series will shed light on how the industry that once only happened behind closed doors became the legitimate business it is today.
George Pelecanos and David Simon, the creators of The Deuce, asserted that the series is not about misogyny and the exploitation of women in the porn industry, but rather about the business end of porn. They elaborated on the purpose of the series during the TCA press corps on July 25, as reported by Deadline. “Misogyny isn’t the currency,” said Simon, “It’s what the show is about. That’s what the product was and we don’t sell beer or a Lincoln Continental (nowadays) without sexual imagery.” He later added, “Everyone realized (at the time) that the money about to be made was going to be real. So what happened to those people who were the pioneers? I was much less interested in whether porn was good or bad, just like on The Wire I wasn’t concerned whether drugs were bad or good.”
The Deuce is not based off of real experiences, though it is said it be a reliable depiction of the time period. Producer Marc Henry Johnson conducted in depth research on the life of two twin brothers that were once involved in the industry during the 1970s and 1980s. The research ensures that the series tells a realistic story about the porn industry during that time.