Broadcast steps up

Perhaps feeling the heat from the three gay cable networks, the Big Six offer plenty of gay and lesbian characters (real and fictional)

BY Richard Andreoli

September 11 2005 11:00 PM ET

NEW SHOWS


The
Apprentice: Martha Stewart

(NBC): This spin on the original Apprentice is
tailored toward Stewart’s specialties of media,
home renovation, and entertaining. The two openly gay
contestants are Jeff, a creative director from New York
City, and Chuck, an interior designer from
Philadelphia. (Wednesdays, 8 p.m.; premieres Sept. 21)


Bones
(Fox): Emily Deschanel plays a forensic
anthropologist who solves crimes with help from David
Boreanaz (Angel) and her assistant, a young
genius played by out actor Eric Millegan. (Tuesdays, 8
p.m.; premieres Sept. 13)


Entertaining With the Hearty Boys
(Food): (Sundays, 9:30 a.m.; premieres Sept. 18)


Hot Properties
(ABC): This Sex and the City–style
show follows four women in a Manhattan real estate
office. Alongside Gail O’Grady (American
Dreams
) and Nicole Sullivan (Mad TV) is
Sofía Vergara, playing Lola Hernandez, a woman
who’s just learned she’s married to a gay man.
(Fridays, 9:30 p.m.; premieres Oct. 7)



Inconceivable

(NBC): (Fridays, 10 p.m.; premieres Sept. 23)


Isaac
(Style): Fashion guru Isaac Mizrahi maximizes his
sassy wit in a new talk show that will span the
lifestyle gamut, including beauty, pop culture, diet,
and more. (Weekdays; premieres in December)



Kitchen Confidential

(Fox): Series follows Jack Bourdain (Bradley
Cooper) as he assembles a renegade team of chefs to
resurrect his failed culinary career. Created by
Sex and the City main gay Darren Star; out
actor Sam Pancake plays a waiter. (Mondays, 8:30 p.m.;
premieres Sept. 19)



My
Name Is Earl


(NBC): Earl (Jason Lee) realizes the power of karma
when he wins the lottery, and now he’s determined to
correct all the wrongs of his past. In the pilot, that
includes helping a gay guy, played by Gregg Binkley.
(Tuesdays, 9 p.m.; premieres Sept. 20)



Only
in America


(Discovery Times): Each week New York Times
reporter Charlie LeDuff immerses himself in a
different subculture, from male modeling to debutantes to a
stint with the gay rodeo. (Fridays, 10 p.m.; premiered
Sept. 2)


Out of Practice
(CBS): Gay writer Joe Keenan and his
Frasier producing partner Christopher Lloyd
executive-produce this series about a family of
dysfunctional doctors. Daughter Regina (Paula Marshall) is
both an E.R.-action junkie and a lesbian.
(Mondays, 9:30 p.m.; premieres in September)



Sex,
Love, & Secrets


(UPN): This Denise Richards vehicle explores the
complex relationships of close friends living in the
urban (and gay) Silver Lake neighborhood of Los
Angeles. The series’ openly gay creators, writers,
and executive producers, Michael Gans and Richard
Register, confirm that queer plots will follow.
(Tuesdays, 9 p.m.; premieres Sept. 27)



Todd
Oldham’s Handmade Modern


(HGTV): Designer Todd Oldham delivers one week of
shows based on his book Handmade Modern:
Mid-Century Inspired Projects for Your Home.

Celeb guests like Susan Sarandon and Amy Sedaris assist with
the creativity. (8 p.m., Sept. 26–30)



Twins

(WB): Another series by David Kohan and Max
Mutchnick (Will & Grace), this one featuring
Sara Gilbert as the intelligent fraternal twin to hottie
Molly Stanton. The two have to run a business
together, and things get wacky. (Fridays, 8:30 p.m.;
premieres Sept. 16)


Viva Blackpool
(BBC America): Ripley Holden (David Morrissey)
dreams of transforming the rundown seaside town of
Blackpool into his own Las Vegas, but then a dead body
turns up in his casino. Added stress involves
Holden’s teenage son, Danny (Thomas Morrison),
who is both coming out and in trouble with the police
in this musical crime thriller. (Sundays, 10 p.m.;
premieres Oct. 23)



The War at Home

(Fox): Covered in the print issue. (Sundays, 8:30 p.m.;
premiered Sept. 11)

MOVIES, MINISERIES AND SPECIALS


Elton John Live From Las Vegas
(NBC): Sir Elton, the unofficial queen of England,
brings his critically acclaimed Las Vegas show to TV.
(November)


Middle Sex
(HBO): Antony Thomas’s documentary goes
beyond the “nature versus nurture”
debate, challenging virtually every standard assumption
about sexual orientation, gender identity, and
morality. (December)



Sherlock
Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking


(PBS): Rupert Everett stars as Sir Arthur Conan
Doyle’s famous Victorian detective in this new
original story. (Oct. 23)


Yesterday
(HBO): This Oscar-nominated film puts a human
face on the politics and statistics of the AIDS crisis
by following an infected young mother in South Africa.
(Nov. 28)

RETURNING SHOWS



America’s
Next Top Model


(UPN): Twiggy and J. Alexander become judges,
Janice Dickinson gets a new job, Jay Manuel still
dresses like he’s in The Matrix, and Tyra
Banks returns with another cast of fierce ladies ready
to become supermodels—including lesbian
contestant Kim. (Wednesdays, 8 p.m.; premieres Sept.
21)



The Apprentice

(NBC): More hungry young bucks—including Clay, a
gay Realtor from Stephenville, Texas—duke it out to
be the Donald’s new right-hand man. (Thursdays,
9 p.m.; premieres Sept. 22)



Arrested Development

(Fox): Saved from cancellation, the continuing
adventures of that wacky Bluth family will thrill fans
for another season; out performer Portia de Rossi costars.
(Mondays, 8 p.m.; premieres Sept. 19)



Curb
Your Enthusiasm


(HBO): Larry David returns in this unsparing
cinema verité depiction of his life. Among the
real-life celebrities playing themselves this season will be
Rosie O’Donnell. (Sundays, 10 p.m.; premieres
Sept. 25)



Desperate Housewives

(ABC): Bree (Marcia Cross) said that she’d
love her gay son, Andrew (Shawn Pyfrom), whether or
not he was a murderer. Well, he’s killed one person
while driving drunk, and now with his father dead
there’s no telling what trouble this budding
young homo will get into. (Sundays, 9 p.m.; premieres Sept.
25)



Drawn Together

(Comedy Central): The cartoon cast is still
stranded on an island à la Survivor. Someone
will die! A new cast member will join! Oh, and more same-sex
adventures are promised. (Wednesdays, 10:30 p.m.;
premieres Oct. 19)



ER

(NBC): The staff of County General Hospital
returns, including lesbian administrator Dr. Kerry Weaver
(Laura Innes). More plots involving Weaver’s
personal life are in the works. (Thursdays, 10 p.m.;
premieres Sept. 22)



Half
& Half


(UPN): Out actor (and Advocate columnist)
Alec Mapa is back as Mona’s gay assistant, and
this year he gets a boyfriend. (Mondays, 9:30 p.m.;
premieres Sept. 19)



Nip/Tuck

(FX): The series devoted to bodily perfection
takes an even gayer turn when Matt McNamara (John
Hensley) picks up a transgender woman; Liz Cruz (Roma
Maffia) plays the show’s lesbian voice of
reason. (Tuesdays, 10 p.m.; premieres Sept. 20)



Project Runway

(Bravo): Heidi Klum returns to officiate as the
judges choose which gay or straight designers will
premiere their lines at New York’s Fashion Week in
2006. We can only hope for more stunning creations,
bitchy backstabbing, and crazy suburban moms.
(Wednesdays, 9 p.m.; premieres early December)



Queer
Eye for the Straight Guy


(Bravo): The Fab Five begin their season with a
series of wedding specials, and word has it there are
some interesting twists involved. (Tuesdays, 10 p.m.;
premieres Nov. 22)



Two
and a Half Men


(CBS): Alan Harper (Jon Cryer) is still dealing
with his sometime-lesbian ex-wife, Judith (Marin
Hinkle). (Mondays, 9 p.m.; premieres Sept. 19)



Will
& Grace


(NBC): Last time we checked, Grace was on the
verge of beginning an affair with a married man, Will
discovered Stan—Karen’s supposedly dead
ex-husband—was actually alive, and Jack got a
talk show. The eighth season opens with two live
broadcasts, one for each coast, creating a dynamic beginning
to the show’s final year. (Thursdays, 8:30
p.m.; premieres Sept. 29)

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