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Broadcast steps

Broadcast steps


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


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 Sofia 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)


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)


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 verite 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 a 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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Richard Andreoli