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It’s a fine time for gay TV.
By Nancy Ford

 

2009modernFamily.jpg
Jesse Tyler Ferguson (l) and Eric Stonestreet in Modern Family.

Tired of getting your queer TV fix with Logo’s reruns of Queer as Folk and The L Word? Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) recently announced the findings of The 2009 Network Responsibility Index, its third annual report analyzing representation of homosexual characters and themes on television. And the news is good.

ABC ranked tops among the five broadcast networks with 24 percent of programming hours reflecting LGBT content, with little wonder. It’s harder, frankly, to name an ABC show that doesn’t feature a gay character.

But ABC is not resting on its laurels, rolling out Modern Family, whose mere previews are already cracking us up. ABC’s new comedy takes “an honest and often hilarious look at the composition and complexity of family life in 2009.” In it, Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Mitchell) and Eric Stonestreet (Cameron), with their newly adopted Vietnamese daughter, represent the gay nucleus in an examination of a . . . well, modern family starring Ed O’Neill (Married With Children) and Julie Bowen (Boston Legal). Sept. 23, 8 p.m. ABC (abc.go.com).

Otherwise on gAyBC, Desperate Housewives returns for a sixth season, after knocking off Edie (Nicollette Sheridan) and knocking up Lynette (Felicity Huffman). Gay sons, gay neighbors . . . gaygaygay. Sept. 27, 8 p.m. ABC (abc.go.com).

Brothers & Sisters enters its fourth season, after last season framing not only a same-sex wedding but featuring ongoing, nonsensational gay themes in every episode. As the long–suffering matriarch, Sally Field is up for yet another Emmy Award (see page 83), adding even more credibility to the show that has become PFLAG’s best friend. Sept. 27, 9 p.m. ABC (abc.go.com).

For those who need a distraction from the raging national health care debate (but not too much of a distraction), Grey’s Anatomy is now in its sixth season. For this go ’round, Jessica Capshaw, playing resident lesbian Dr. Arizona Robbins, gets an upgrade from part–time to full–time cast member, which should allow her more face time, so to speak, with Sara Ramirez (Dr. Callie Torres). Hmmm . . . anybody know whatever became of Isaiah Washington? Sept. 24, 8 p.m. ABC (abc.go.com).

Glee
Jane Lynch in Glee.

Switching channels, Fox rose to third place in the index with 11 percent LGBT-inclusivity in its 782.5 total primetime programming hours. Contributing to that bump, one of our favorite out actors, the hysterical Jane Lynch, stars as “Coach Sue Sylvester” in Glee, a twisted answer to the wildly popular High School Musical franchise. Matthew Morrison (Broadway’s Hairspray) plays Will Schuester, intent on taking McKinley High School’s glee club to the national competition. Did somebody say “show tune”? Sept. 9, 8 p.m. FOX (fox.com).

Heroes
Hayden Panettiere in Heroes.

Eight percent of NBC’s programming features a queer character, GLAAD found. This month, in Heroes’ fifth “volume,” the ever-indestructible Claire (Hayden Panettiere), now a college student, finds herself living with lesbian Gretchen (Madeline Zima). Is our favorite teen super heroine super enough to avoid becoming a LUG? Sept. 21, 7 p.m. NBC (nbc.com).

CBS saw the greatest decline among the broadcast networks this year, dropping to last place with only five percent of its programming being LGBT-inclusive content. But don’t forget the NFL returns this month: the Houston Texans start their eighth season here at home, facing off against the New York Jets, replete with its skintight knee pants and unbridled ass-slapping. Admit it—it doesn’t get much gayer than that. Sept. 13, noon. CBS (cbs.com).

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Wild About Houston

 

The lovely and talented Alton LaDay has landed his own segment on KTBU-TV Channel 55’s popular program spotlighting local happenings. LaDay’s weekly segment, entitled “The A! List,” concentrates on arts, food, fashion, and social scenes as well as Houston’s undiscovered treasures, locales, and events. Sept. 25, 1 p.m. houstons55.com.

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