What’s gay on the upcoming season of cable and network TV? Quite a lot
With summer 2014 unofficially over, the fall TV season is just starting to heat up. There’s a silver lining to trading in lazing in the sand for lounging on the sofa: There are plenty of programs with LGBT characters to tune into right now. Which returning shows and series premieres should be on your gaydar? Peep this shortlist of inclusive shows that run the gamut of genres to make your picks.
Utopia (Fox). Basically Big Brother outdoors, this reality series has 15 strangers create a community, includes a single “polyamorous” woman. But the cast can change throughout the run, so gays may be added. Just premiered.
Dancing with the Stars (ABC). Out judge Bruno Tonioli is back, and castmembers this season include gay fave Antonio Sabato Jr. Series premieres Sept. 15.
Red Band Society (Fox). While there aren’t any gay teens (so far) on this dark dramedy, at least we have out actor Wilson Cruz’s Kenji Gomez-Rejon, an openly gay (and of course sassy!) nurse. Sept. 17.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS). TV’s No. 1 sitcom stars openly gay four-time Emmy winner (and native Texan) Jim Parsons as the infuriatingly funny Dr. Sheldon Cooper. It moves this season from its secure spot on Thursday to anchor Mondays. Sept. 22.
Modern Family (ABC). LGBT fans of this consistently hilarious and award-winning comedy (It just won its fifth consecutive best comedy series Emmy, tying the record) are finally satisfied that Cam and Mitchell tied the knot (it wasn’t long ago that the Internet was making a big deal about why the couple never kissed on camera … until they did), so it’ll be interesting to see how they manage married life, for better or worse. Sept. 24.
Scandal (ABC). If you can get past Olivia Pope’s annoying, incessant bawling, you might find solace in the ruthless-but-fragile Cyrus Beene, this fictional White House’s first gay chief of staff. Brush up on the previous WTF seasons online and on demand before Season 4 bows. Sept. 25.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox). Andre Braugher won an Emmy nomination playing the uptight, openly gay leader of a misfit police precinct for the first season on this single-camera sitcom starring Andy Samberg. The show moves to Sundays this season. Sept. 28.
The Vampire Diaries (The CW). Gay fans of this show were more than eager to sink their teeth into news that a recurring gay character was coming to Mystic Falls toward the end of last season. Tune in to unravel more of Luke Parker’s mystery when the series returns for its sixth season. Oct. 2.
American Horror Story: Freak Show (FX). Out producer Ryan Murphy continues this reinvents-itself-each-season miniseries about the supernatural, this time set in a circus. Expect lots of gay stuff. Oct. 8.
The McCarthys (CBS). Recently out Ronny McCarthy is about to accept a teaching job in Rhode Island when his basketball-coach father asks him to stay in Boston to be his new assistant. The rest of his tight-knit, sports-loving siblings cry foul over the decision, and hilarity is expected to ensue. Early reviews for this freshman series are mixed, but at least we get to watch Laurie Metcalf and Joey McIntyre for a half hour. Oct 30.
Series with no announced premiere dates:
One Big Happy (NBC). From executive producer Ellen DeGeneres comes this hopeful comedy about two tired-of-being-lonely-and-single best friends — one a straight guy, the other a gay girl — who decide to have a baby together. Of course, this new relationship gets trickier when the straight guy unexpectedly falls in love and marries … just when his gay best friend announces she’s pregnant with his child.
Shameless (Showtime). Ian Gallagher gets around. In Season 1, the fire-haired high school student was shtupping Kash, the owner of the convenience store at which Ian works … until juvenile delinquent Mickey Milkovich came along. Ian cooled things off with Kash as his relationship with Mickey heated up, then Ian started fucking Lloyd and Maxine and … oh, who cares, the kid’s adorable and the show is awesome. Early 2015.
Parks & Recreation (NBC). Openly gay comedian Billy Eichner’s Craig Middlebrooks didn’t get major screen time when he was introduced in Season 6, but his penchant for blowing things out of proportion and over-the-top delivery should be put to better use as the mocku-comedy enters its final, seventh season. Early 2015.
Undateable (NBC). A surprisingly funny comedy scheduled as a midseason replacement, this sitcom provides eye candy in Chris D’Elia’s Danny Burton and ample gay jokes from David Fynn’s Brett, the refreshingly very-average-Joe resident bartender.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 12, 2014.