17 gayish TV shows to add to your DVR this season

‘Supergirl’ arrives later this month on CBS.

The 2015-16 TV season is well underway. What to watch for the discerning gay viewer? Pop the corn, grab a blanket, and cozy into your favorite couch cushion for this selection of new-season shows featuring LGBT characters we can root for.

The Real O’Neals (ABC). The O’Neals have a secret; several of them, in fact … not the least of which is 14-year-old Kenny’s confession that he’s gay, which he reveals in front of his family’s church congregation. Upfronts for the Martha Plimpton-starring vehicle show initial promise, but it’s the boycott by the American Family Association that should seal the deal.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (The CW). Scheduled to premiere midseason, this series from out exec producer Greg Berlanti will feature a host of familiar superheroes, including at least once crossover character, Sara Lance, a bisexual crime fighter who died on sister series Arrow, but is now resurrected through the mythical Lazarus Pits as “White Canary.”

Grandfathered (FOX). John Stamos, who ages just as well (or better) than a fine wine, helms this half-hour comedy about a still-in-his-prime bachelor who finds out he’s a father— and grandfather — all in a day. Kelly Jenrette stars as his lesbian assistant restaurant manager Annelise.

Rosewood (FOX). Private pathologist Dr. Beaumont Rosewood (Morris Chestnut) runs a for-hire autopsy agency with his toxicologist sister Pippy (Gabrielle Dennis) and her DNA specialist fiancé Tara (Anna Konkle) in this Wednesday-night crime procedural.

Faking It (MTV). Aside from making the most popular boy in school, Shane, gay, and giving him a hot MMA-fighter love interest, Duke, to make out with, Faking It also warrants your DVR space for introducing TV’s first intersex character, Lauren, who will spend this season handling the fallout of being outed by her ex-boyfriend … who we can only hope meets the business end of a choke hold.

Supergirl (CBS). There’s no indication that there’s anything LGBT about this new series initially, but it’s produced by Berlanti, so there’s high-flying probability that we’ll see some diversity soon. It’s already well on its convention-shattering way with Mehcad Brooks (True Blood) playing former Daily Planet photographer James Olsen.

Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris (NBC). Doogie has turned his perennial hosting prowess into a full-time gig (at least for a short season of shows) with this primetime party that will feature comedy, music, games and more.

Modern Family (ABC). Tensions are rising for semi-newlyweds Cam and Mitchell, the latter of whom admitted to losing his job at the end of season 6. Can the oddest gay couple on TV weather the storm? Yeah, probably, and hopefully with a lot of hilarity.

How to Get Away With Murder (ABC). Sure, Connor Walsh is a stereotype of a gay man who uses his sexuality to his advantage, in How to Get Away With Murder — but, really, who’s complaining? Less shirt, more sex, please.

Todrick (MTV). Quadruple-threat Todrick Hall — the YouTube sensation famous for his full-scale productions of gay-ified Disney covers — gets his comeuppance in this docu-series about (what else?) the making of said full-scale productions.

Nashville (ABC). Nashville’s Will Lexington is the hottest gay cowboy since, well, you know.

Undateable (NBC). The highly underrated multi-camera comedy will return to NBC this fall for its third season (didn’t know about the first two seasons, did ya?) with — get this — all-live episodes. As if that’s not enough to pique your curiosity, perhaps bear-tastic bartender Brett can.

The Walking Dead (AMC). The body count will continue to rise in season 7 as Rick Grimes and group try to strike a survivable balance within the fallen Alexandria society while facing a new threat of the Wolves. Here’s hoping that boyfriends Aaron and Eric get a decent storyline before one of them bites the dust.

Out actor Jussie Smollett as the gay scion on ‘Empire.’

Couples Therapy with Dr. Jenn (VH1). When you can’t bear witness to an actual train wreck, Couples Therapy is a solid stand-in, this season starring Drag Race alums Carmen Carrera and Adrian Torres.

American Horror Story: Hotel (FX). Lady Gaga stars as Elizabeth the Countess, bisexual owner of the Hotel Cortez, which will see its fair share of LGBT characters pass through its door, including roles filled by Angela Bassett, Denis O’Hare, Finn Wittrock and Cheyenne Jackson.

Empire (FOX). Gay heir to the Empire Records fortune, Jamal (Jussie Smollett) gives Empire its LGBT street cred, but it’s family matriarch Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) who makes us want to put those jams on repeat every single week.

Younger (TVLand). You’ll have to wait until January to catch the second season of TVLand’s sleeper-hit Younger, starring Sutton Foster as a 40-something divorced mother pretending to be a 26-year-old editor’s assistant, but it’s worth scheduling on your DVR in advance. The indispensable Debi Mazar provides the show lesbian realness while too-tempting tattoo artist Nico Tortorella’s eye candy gives us something to suck on.

—Mikey Rox

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Annise Parker to be honored by Family Equality Council

Houston-Mayor-Annise-Parker

Houston Mayor Annise Parker

Houston Mayor Annise Parker will be honored Saturday, Feb. 28 by the Family Equality Council in Los Angeles for her trailblazing career in public service.

Family Equality Council’s Los Angeles Awards Dinner honors distinguished individuals in the worlds of arts, entertainment, politics and the LGBT movement for their efforts to advance equality for all families.

According to a press release, “Mayor Parker has embodied our values and has been a powerful voice in her community and now on the national stage. She and her family have continued to work toward a world where all families are respected, celebrated, and loved.​”

Parker, who is term limited and unable to run for re-election this year, was recently the only mayor in the country included in the City Mayors Foundation’s bi-annual top mayors list. Parker came in seventh overall according to the international think tank dedicated to urban affairs. Last year, she married her longtime partner.

Also being honored are two television shows and a snack brand. The television shows — Modern Family and Glee — for portraying complex and realistic LGBTQ characters and celebrating LGBTQ individuals and families.

Honey Maid will be honored for its #thisiswholesome campaign in 2014, which featured families who fall outside of traditional definitions of family. Matt Bomer and others will also be present at the event.

—  James Russell

PHOTOS: Inside the Screen Actors Guild Awards

In addition to being a standup comedian and local stage actor, Paul J. Williams is also a member of the Screen Actors Guild, and as such, was permitted to add his name to a lottery awarding tickets to folks other than big-name nominees and Hollywood wannabes. Accordingly, he was actually able to attend the ceremony last Sunday, which aired on TNT. Here is Paul’s journey from ticketholder to red carpet walker and proud union member.

By 9:30 p.m., we decided we had had enough. Nibbled on desserts, had some water and headed toward … the gift bag tent. Big canvas bag filled with goodies, mostly beauty stuff. As we left, a woman came up to Carol and said, “I’ve been wanting to tell you all night — your dress is gorgeous!” Carol felt like Cinderella and I like her fairy godfather.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

‘Normal Heart,’ ‘Modern Family’ and Jim Parsons win Emmy Awards

916137691In what could have been a night for firsts, the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards last night stuck with the predictable.

The night was still a great night for LGBT characters, stars and media, however. Houston native Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory, the ABC comedy Modern Family and HBO’s adaptation of The Normal Heart all won Emmys in their respective categories. The latter was produced by Ryan Murphy, the out gay director who also produced nominees American Horror Story and Glee.

Among notable nominees in other categories were AHS‘s Sarah Paulson; Orange is the New Black‘s Laverne Cox, who was the first transperson to ever be nominated for an Emmy; Nathan Lane, for a guest appearance on Modern Family; and Kevin Spacey for his performance as a ruthless congressman in House of Cards. (While Spacey isn’t out, he frequently dodges questions about his sexuality.)

You can see a full list of the winners here.

 

—  James Russell

Laverne Cox earns Emmy nomination

Laverne Cox has become the first transgender actress to be nominated for an Emmy, with her nomination today as “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series,” for her role as Sophia Burset in Orange Is the New Black. The Emmy nod comes a month after Cox became the first trans person featured on the cover of Time Magazine.Laverne-Cox

Orange Is the New Black received 12 Emmy nominations, the most of any comedy series.

Cox told Time today: “I was told many times that I wouldn’t be able to have a mainstream career as an actor because I’m trans, because I’m black, and here I am. And it feels really good.”

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force congratulated Cox with a press release calling her “a true champion of freedom and justice for all LGBTQ people.”

Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, released a statement saying: “Today, countless transgender youth will hear the message that they can be who they are and still achieve their dreams – nothing is out of reach. Laverne’s success on a hit series is a clear indication that audiences are ready for more trans characters on television.”

GLAAD’s press release also noted that openly LGBT actors such as Jim Parsons, Kate McKinnon, Sarah Paulson and Jesse Tyler Ferguson were also nominated for Emmys, and that TV shows featuring LGBT characters and plotlines, such as Orange Is the New Black, Game of Thrones and Modern Family, also got nominatons.

—  Tammye Nash

Emmy nominations are pretty damn gay

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The Tony Awards are always gay, the Oscars less so (at least they are more closeted), but the Emmys? They’ve almost kept up with the Tonys in recent years. Consider: This year’s ceremony on Sept. 22 will be hosted by regular Tony Awards host Neil Patrick Harris — who plays straight on his TV show but is a camptastic song-and-dance man at heart.

Harris and Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul announced the nominees for the Emmys this morning, and it proved to be a very gay affair indeed. Here are some queer highlights:

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Emmy noms: Some of the gay stuff

The Emmy nominations came out this morning, and the details of them can be hashed over in the coming month, but I wanted to point out a few gay interest items on the list:

• Modern Family continues to dominate the comedy category, with the entire adult cast again snagging nominations, as well as for directing, writing, comedy series and guest actor/comedy Greg Kinnear.

• Once again, officially out actor Jim Parsons looks like the sure thing for actor/comedy for The Big Bang Theory, unless 30 Rock’s Alec Baldwin makes a comeback. His co-star Mayim Bialik was also nominated, but not Johnny Galecki. The show is also up for best comedy series.

• American Horror Story, created by Glee mastermind Ryan Murphy, was nominated in the miniseries category, including nods for miniseries, actress/mini Connie Britton, supporting actor/mini for gay thesp Denis O’Hare and two for supporting actress/mini — Frances Conroy and shoo-in winner Jessica Lange.

• Game of Thrones is again in contention, though only last year’s winner — Peter Dinklage for supporting actor/drama — is nominated for acting. The show has lots of nudity (including men!) and this last season a great gay storyline.

• One of the most welcome nominations was for Kathryn Joosten, who died just days after her touchingly hard-scrabble performance on Desperate Housewives ended with her death, was nominated for supporting actress/comedy. She’d won twice before in the guest actress category. Not in the supporting category? Previous winner Jane Lynch of Glee; Chris Colfer of Glee was also overlooked.

• The reality competition program continues to play it safe — in the history of the category, The Amazing Race has won every year except one, when Top Chef sneaked in. When will RuPaul — the show and the host — get the credit she deserves?!?!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Gay reality version of “Modern Family” seeks cast

We knew it would happen. Desperate Housewives begat the reality Real Housewives franchise. Production on the new Dallas series triggered everything from Big Rich Texas to The A-List Dallas. Success begets success. So it was just a matter of time before the hit sitcom Modern Family would spur its reality-based imitators.

And that time is now.

Worlds of Wonder, the production company responsible for RuPaul’s Drag Race and lots of other TV shows with a gay slant, is in the process of casting for its newest docu-series. My Modern Family is going into production, and is undertaking a nationwide search for their own Mitchell and Cameron. From the press release:

“Are you … gay and married with kids? Does your extended family play an important role in your life? Do you think your family is larger than life and ready for their close-up? If so, we may want to hear from you!”

Interested folks can send an email to realmodernfamilycasting@gmail.com, and need to include a brief description of their family (at least one set of in-laws need to be close and in general get along with you and your partner, and help out from time to time) and similarities to the sitcom, plus “photos of as many family members as possible” and a way to contact you.

Someone local really needs to be on this show. You listening to me, Todd and Cooper Smith-Koch?

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

“Modern Family” cast tonight at Winspear

All in the Family

Get the real scoop on your favorite show — or at least a really good one. Modern Family stars Ty Burrell, Emmy-award winner Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, pictured, stop by for a little chat tonight thanks to the Brinker International Forum. The panel will also include the show’s co-reator and executive producer Steve Levitan.

DEETS: Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. 8 p.m. $20–$125. ATTPAC.org.

—  Rich Lopez

What’s gay about this year’s Emmy noms

The Emmy nominations came out this morning, and there are, as usual, lots of gays in the mix.

The most obvious is the continued domination of Modern Family in the comedy category. Last year’s winner for best comedy series was nominated again for that, as well as the entire adult cast (pictured) in supporting categories, including out actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who plays half of a gay couple with straight actor Eric Stonestreet. Also up for best comedy series at the very gay (or gay-friendly) Glee (from gay creator Ryan Murphy), The Office, The Big Bang Theory, Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock. The Modern Family men will be up against Chris Colfer, so touching as Kurt, on GleeBig Bang‘s out actor Jim Parsons competes with his castmate Johnny Galecki and prior winner Alec Baldwin of 30 Rock.

Last year’s winner for supporting actress in a comedy, out actress Jane Lynch from Glee, is nominated again, alongside Modern Family’s Sofia Vergara and Julie Bowen, Jane Krakowski (30 Rock), Betty White (Hot in Cleveland) and Kristen Wiig (SNL). Archie Panjabi, who won supporting actress in a drama last year for The Good Wife playing a bisexual lawyer, is also up again, going against Christina Hendricks from Mad Men.

There were big nominations for Emmy (and gay) favorites Mad Men and Dexter, and some real love for the Texas-filmed series Friday Night Lights, which finishes its series run tomorrow on NBC. The cult hit The Killing got several nominations, but best drama series was not among them.

Kathy Griffin’s My Life on the D List was nominated for reality series, with gay hits American Idol, Top Chef, Project Runway, So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars are up for reality competition. Gay-ish comedy shows The Colbert Report and The Daily Show are frontrunners for variety/comedy series.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones