Pop the corn, grab a blanket, and cozy into your favorite couch cushion for this selection of new-season shows featuring LGBT characters we can root for.
The Real O’Neals, CBS
The O’Neals have a secret; several of them, in fact – not the least of which is 14-year-old Kenny’s confession that he’s gay, which he reveals in front of his family’s church congregation. Upfronts for the Martha Plimpton-starring vehicle show initial promise, but it’s the boycott by the American Family Association that should seal the deal.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, The CW
Scheduled to premiere midseason, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (from out exec producer Greg Berlanti) will feature a host of familiar superheroes, including at least once crossover character, Sara Lance, a bisexual crime fighter who died on sister series Arrow, but is now resurrected through the mythical Lazarus Pits as “White Canary.”
John Stamos, who ages just as well (or better) than a fine wine, helms this half-hour comedy about a still-in-his-prime bachelor who finds out he’s a father – and a grandfather – all in a day. Kelly Jenrette stars as his lesbian assistant restaurant manager Annelise.
Private pathologist Dr. Beaumont Rosewood (Morris Chestnut) runs a for-hire autopsy agency with his toxicologist sister Pippy (Gabrielle Dennis) and her DNA specialist fiancé Tara (Anna Konkle) in this Wednesday-night crime procedural.
Faking It, MTV
Aside from making the most popular boy in school, Shane, gay, and giving him a hot MMA-fighter love interest, Duke, to make out with, Faking It also warrants your DVR space for introducing TV’s first intersex character, Lauren, who will spend this season handling the fallout of being outed by her ex-boyfriend – who we can only hope meets the business end of a choke hold.
There’s no indication that there’s anything LGBT about this new series initially, but it’s produced by Greg Berlanti, so there’s high-flying probability that we’ll see some diversity soon. It’s already well on its convention-shattering way with Mehcad Brooks (True Blood) playing former Daily Prophet photographer James Olsen.
Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris, NBC
Doogie has turned his perennial hosting prowess into a full-time gig (at least for a short season of shows) with this primetime party that will feature comedy, music, games, and more.
Modern Family, ABC
Tensions are rising for semi-newlyweds Cam and Mitchell, the latter of whom admitted to losing his job at the end of season 6. Can the oddest gay couple on TV weather the storm? Yeah, probably, and hopefully with a lot of hilarity.
How to Get Away With Murder, ABC
Sure, Connor Walsh is a stereotype of a gay man who uses his sexuality to his advantage, in How to Get Away With Murder – but, really, who’s complaining? Less shirt, more sex, please.
Quadruple-threat Todrick Hall – the YouTube sensation famous for his full-scale productions of gay-ified Disney covers – gets his comeuppance in this docu-series about – what else? – the making of said full-scale productions.
Nashville’s Will Lexington is the hottest gay cowboy since, well, you know.
The highly underrated multi-camera comedy Undateable will return to NBC this fall for its third season (didn’t know about the first two seasons, did ya?) with – get this – all live episodes. As if that’s not enough to pique your curiosity, perhaps bear-tastic bartender Brett can.
The Walking Dead, AMC
The body count will continue to rise in season 7 as Rick Grimes and group try to strike a survivable balance within the fallen Alexandria society while facing a new threat of the Wolves. Here’s hoping that boyfriends Aaron and Eric get a decent storyline before one of them bites the dust.
Couples Therapy with Dr. Jenn, VH1
When you can’t bear witness to an actual train wreck, Couples Therapy is a solid stand-in, this season starring Ru Paul’s Drag Race alums Carmen Carrera and Adrian Torres.
American Horror Story: Hotel, FX
Lady Gaga stars as Elizabeth the Countess, bisexual owner of the Hotel Cortez, which will see its fair share of LGBT characters pass through its door, including roles filled by Angela Bassett, Denis O’Hare, Finn Wittrock and Cheyenne Jackson.
Gay heir to the Empire Records fortune, Jamal (Jussie Smollett) gives Empire its LGBT street cred, but it’s family matriarch Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) who makes us want to put those jams on repeat every single week.
You’ll have to wait until January to catch the second season of TVLand’s sleeper-hit Younger, starring Sutton Foster as a 40-something divorced mother pretending to be a 26-year-old editor’s assistant, but it’s worth scheduling on your DVR in advance. The indispensable Debi Mazar provides the show lesbian realness while too-tempting tattoo artist Nico Tortorella’s eye candy gives us something to suck on.
The 16th annual Downtown Dine O’ Round begins Friday, Sept. 28 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 14. Diners can sample…