Queer viewers won’t be starved for content on TV this fall. From the return of known franchises, to one-off series, to all-new shows, there’s a surprising amount of representation on offer across a number of networks and digital services.
There are a few shows that have already begun airing, including American Horror Story: Cult. Starring several out actors, including Sarah Paulson and Cheyenne Jackson, and gay creator Ryan Murphy, it’s always a queer favourite. There’s also season two of One Mississippi, comedian Tig Notaro’s sublime comedy-drama on Amazon, which celebrates the lesbian relationship at its heart. And if you’re looking for a period drama, check out HBO’s The Deuce, with James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, set in NYC and detailing the rise of the porn industry — both gay and straight.
Looking ahead, Amazon will release the fourth season of Jill Soloway’s landmark Transparent on Sept. 22, with trans actress Alexandra Billings getting even more screentime as Maura’s friend Davina. The first Star Trek series in over a decade hits CBS’s digital All Access service on Sept. 24, with Star Trek: Discovery set to feature a prominent gay couple (one of whom is played by out gay actor Anthony Rapp), and continue the series’ commitment to diversity with an African-American female lead — a first for the franchise. And Modern Family returns for its ninth season on Sept. 27, with ABC’s comedy continuing to showcase the everyday lives and worries of its central gay couple, Cam and Mitch.
Of course, September also brings the surprise return of Will & Grace to NBC. Yes, on Sept. 28, we’ll revisit Will, Grace, Jack, and Karen a decade after we last left them in the show’s eighth season. The series will return for 16 episodes, with a tenth season of 13 episodes already greenlit. We can’t wait to see how the writers deal with ten years of advancements for LGBTQ rights.
One of TV’s campest soaps returns, as Dynasty hits The CW on Oct. 11. While it may lack Joan Collins and shoulder pads, it swaps the character of Sammy Jo from a woman to a gay man. Expect high camp drama until it’s inevitably cancelled in a season or two. And if that’s not your thing, The CW also has the second season of Riverdale on Oct. 11, a surprisingly entertaining adaptation of the Archie comics with lots of camp, openly gay character Kevin, and the this season the introduction of proud bisexual teen, Toni.
If you’re looking for something a little more high-brow, there’s the BBC America series Queers on Oct. 14, which features various stars, including Alan Cumming, Ben Whishaw and Gemma Whelan, delivering monologues about LGBTQ life in Britain, in honour of the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of gay sex in England.
As a saucier option, there’s Starz’s The Girlfriend Experience, about women who work as high-end escorts, which returns for its second season on Nov. 5 and will feature Anna Friel as a Republican Super PAC finance director who contracts the services of escort Anna (Louisa Krause). Let’s all pretend some of today’s leading conservative voices aren’t doing the same.
And last but not least, there’s the second season of TBS’s lauded dark comedy Search Party on Nov. 19. It stars Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) as a millennial who ventures out in NYC to find a missing college friend, and features a star turn from John Early as her narcissist gay friend Elliott Goss. If millennial ennui and vanity wrapped up in an entertaining mystery sound like your sort of thing, definitely check it out.
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