The Deuce: Behind the Scenes – Podcast 72

The Deuce: Behind the Scenes – Podcast 72

For the last 25 years,  we have interviewed hundreds of people who were connected to the birth of the pornographic film industry in New York – from film directors to actors, theater owners and distributors, and a fair number of cops and politicians too.

We wanted to make sure that the real story of the era was preserved – not just by journalists, academics, filmmakers or fans, but by the people who actually lived and worked in this era. People who took risks. People who did things they were proud of, or may have regretted later. Who were they, what made them get involved, and what happened to them afterwards? Four years ago, we started to share these interviews in a series of podcasts and articles published on The Rialto Report website.

In 2015, we were approached by the producers of an HBO series that was being developed, called The Deuce, and we had a small role working with the show’s writers and researchers.

The Deuce is a semi-fictionalized account of Times Square in 1971 and 1972, telling the interconnecting stories of the people who worked there. There’s the birth of the adult film industry, prostitution and pimps, policing, crime and politics, and much more.

The show is produced by David Simon and George Pelecanos, who had big television hits with ‘The Wire’ and ‘Treme’. It’s centered around real life twins, Steve and Johnny d’Agrosa, who operated out of 42nd Street and become fronts for the Mob. In ‘The Deuce’ they’re called Vincent and Frankie Martino, and both parts are played by James Franco. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Candy, a Times Square sex worker with an entrepreneurial spirit who is drawn into the emerging pornography industry.

On today’s Rialto Report, we speak to three people involved in the making of ‘The Deuce’:

One of the show’s producers, Marc Henry Johnson, who knew the real-life twins who Vincent and Frank were based on, talks about coming up with the original idea for the show;

One of the writers, Megan Abbott, talks about creating the various characters that populate the series;

And Michelle MacLaren, who directed the first and last episodes of the first season, talks about the challenges of recreating 1970s Times Square on location in modern day New York.

‘The Deuce’ premieres on HBO on September 10th 2017, and is currently available on HBO streaming platforms.

This podcast is 56 minutes long.


The Deuce – Official Trailers









The Deuce








  • Posted On: 3rd September 2017
  • By: The Rialto Report
  • Under: Podcasts


  1. Bill · September 3, 2017 Reply

    Congratulations on your ‘small’ involvement in the Deuce!!!!!!!! It watched it last night and loved it. Looking forward to hearing the stories from behind the scenes on the podcast.

  2. Sam B. · September 3, 2017 Reply

    I found the first episode a slow burner that was welcome after the ridiculous over-blown farce of VINYL.

    I look forward to seeing how this develops over the season. Good job!~

  3. Barry Gordon · September 3, 2017 Reply

    I’ve looked everywhere for details about the real-life twins that James Franco’s characters are based on and usual it is Rialto Report’s fine people that deliver the scoop.

    Speaking of which what’s the skinny on a second season?

    (Request: Can I request that you do a podcast on Leonard Kirtman? surely that’s the director portrayed in this series…?)

  4. Anon E Mouse · September 3, 2017 Reply

    I’ve read everything about this show……… -> but I’ve just discovered your site and OMG this is the best!!

    A question – is the second series going to focus on the same characters and similar period??

    Also how about featuring an article about the mob influence on XXX.

  5. Steven Otero · September 3, 2017 Reply

    If you love the Deuce listen to the Rialto Report Now !!!

  6. Steven Otero · September 3, 2017 Reply

    When they release the DVD of the Deuce Podcast 72 should be part of the extras .

  7. Cornered · September 3, 2017 Reply

    Maggie Gyllenhaal still has a rocking bod. Sexy lady….

  8. Pete · September 5, 2017 Reply

    Love the Rialto Report. Listened to this podcast and watched the pilot episode. I had very high hopes for this show.
    The director claimed to have watched many seventies films and wanted the style of the show to be as if it
    was shot in the seventies. Sorry to say but I can’t remember any film or show from that era being engulfed in the “orange & teal” look, which is very much a 2010 (and beyond) thing. Enormously distracting and I wonder why this wasn’t mentioned anywhere in this interview, as style was a big topic.
    Another thing that struck me as odd is the casting, until I found out that two main players are executive producers as well. It seems today with some influence and money one can cast themselves on a show through producing (aka financing) it, even if not really fit for the part. Well, that is my opinion. Very sorry.

    • mhampton · September 22, 2017 Reply

      You are right, but it is a mixed bag. Some of the photography is VERY contemporary true because of the cameras used now etc. but there is also an enormous amount the show gets absolutely right about the 70s.

  9. LordMaul2112 · September 5, 2017 Reply

    Hopefully they will move off the pimp/hooker aspect and get into the birth of golden age porn/chic. I think I heard they are going to introduce a Marty Hodas character-that would be great.

  10. DD · September 6, 2017 Reply

    Can’t wait to see the show! Thanks for another excellent podcast! 🙂

  11. Jennifer Arnold · September 11, 2017 Reply

    Loved the behind the scenes look at the Deuce on your podcast. Marc Henry Johnson’s comments on his involvement with Vincent (?) Degrasso were more enlightening than anything else I’ve read on the series which mostly sound like promotional hype. You guys are the best.
    The Scenic, costumes and cars were really spot on. Looking forward to more episodes.

  12. Steven Otero · September 17, 2017 Reply

    Before you watch The Deuce check out The Rialto Report first !!!

  13. Brooklyn Mike · September 21, 2017 Reply

    Another excellent Rialto Report podcast! The Deuce is very different from Vinyl, which I enjoyed, but thought was trying way too hard to be over the top most of the time. The Deuce is a quieter, slow burn for sure and I have enjoyed the first 2 episodes very much. I look forward to seeing where it is going and I am very happy to see it has been renewed for a second season!

  14. Jim Stevens · September 29, 2017 Reply

    Very impressed by the pilot episode (just got HBO back) but driven crazy by the misspelling on one of the marquees. Kudos for getting the movies right, right down the the taglines above the titles, but really…”The Bird With the Crystal Plummage?”


    I seriously hope somebody caught it and I don’t have to look at it all season. If not, fix it before season 2. Please and thank you.

  15. Roy Karch · October 29, 2017 Reply

    Well,, and very real.

  16. Jeff rhodes · October 31, 2017 Reply

    I new Steve and John in the late 70’s Steve much better and he was a funny guy always had a good time with him at Tin Pan Alley or 366 good times

  17. LEON-PAUL DE BRUYN · November 9, 2017 Reply

    I watched 4 episodes and while the show is good, i am disappointed at how little there is about the porn industry, in episode 4 there is not even one second about that subject! I see where this is going but at the pace it drags on they will need at least 5 seasons to get to the core of things!

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