As NPR’s Linda Holmes reports, with more than 400 original English-language series in primetime in 2015, it’s impossible to catch up with everything, even if you binge-watched one show in its entirely each day of the year. If you choose to take on the challenge, here are a few places to start.
Cookie’s back to get what’s hers. Season two of “Empire” returns to Fox on Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 9 p.m. The Lee Daniels show is inspired by Shakespeare’s “King Lear” and includes a number of gay characters including Jamal Lyon, played by openly gay actor Jussie Smollett.
Season one of the Wachowskis’ “Sense8” is streaming on Netflix. The science fiction drama does not shy away from addressing gender, sexuality and AIDS through its gay, lesbian and trans characters. The series was renewed for a second season.
Tig Notaro cannot be stopped. Her special, “Boyish Girl Interrupted,” is now on HBOgo, and her two documentaries, “Tig” and “Knock Knock, It’s Tig Notaro” are on Netflix and Showtime, respectively. The openly gay comedian has made waves in the past few years for turning her mother’s passing and her own cancer diagnosis into comedy gold.
“Faking It” is currently in its second season and airs Mondays at 9:30 p.m. on MTV. The show takes place in a high school and includes gay, lesbian and intersex characters as well as a main character who fakes being a lesbian.
Jane Lynch and Maggie Lawson will star in “Angel from Hell” beginning Thursday, Nov. 5 at 9:30 p.m. on CBS. The show is a single-camera fantasy sitcom with Lynch playing Lawson’s eccentric guardian angel.
“Difficult People” stars Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner as two misanthropic comedians. New episodes of the show, created by Amy Poehler, are released Wednesdays on Hulu. Guest stars include Kate McKinnon, Amy Sedaris, and Debbie Harry.
Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra stars in “Quantico” as an FBI recruit training at the academy. Tate Ellington co-stars as an openly gay recruit, and Rick Cosnett plays a gay FBI analyst. The show airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on ABC beginning Sept. 27.
John Stamos stars in a new show “Grandfathered” premiering Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 8 p.m. on Fox. Stamos plays a man who recently discovers he has a son and a granddaughter. It sounds terrible but will fill the Stamos-sized hole in our lives until he reprises the role of Uncle Jesse in “Fuller House” next year.
Rob Lowe stars in “The Grinder” which is unfortunately not about what I hoped it would be about. Fred Savage co-stars in the show, premiering Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 8:30 p.m. on Fox.
Ryan Murphy’s latest series premieres Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 9 p.m. on Fox. “Scream Queens” stars Emma Roberts, Lea Michele, and Jamie Lee Curtis and focuses on a series of murders connected with a college sorority. As a Ryan Murphy show, it will no doubt feature queer characters.
“Supergirl” premieres on CBS on Monday, Nov. 2 at 8 p.m. The show stars “Glee’s” Melissa Benoist as the title hero. The series was developed by openly gay producers Greg Berlanti and Allison Adler.
“Todrick” is an MTV docuseries following former “American Idol” contestant and YouTube star Todrick Hall. Hall and his troupe produce elaborate weekly videos while working side jobs to pay the bills. The show is currently airing Mondays at 10 p.m.
“Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris” premieres Tuesday, September 15 at 10 p.m. on NBC. The variety series is hosted by Harris and is the American adaptation on the British series “Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.”
Shondaland Thursdays returns to ABC on Sept. 24 with “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” and “How To Get away With Murder” at 8, 9 and 10 p.m., respectively. All three shows feature a wide array of LGBT actors and characters.
Openly gay director Paris Barclay serves as an executive producer on “The Bastard Executioner,” premiering Tuesday, Sept. 15 on FX. The Kurt Sutter series follows a 14th century knight and stars “True Blood’s” Stephen Moyer. Openly gay actor and model Matthieu Charneau plays a small role in the series.
Marcia Gay Harden stars as an ER doctor in “Code Black.” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” Executive Producer Marti Noxon will serve the same role on “Code Black,” premiering Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 10 p.m. on CBS.
“Scream” is based on the film of the same name by the late Wes Craven and features a lesbian couple, one half of which is a main character. “Scream” wrapped its first season on Sept. 1 but was renewed for a second, which will air in 2016.
Krysten Ritter and David Tennant will star in “Jessica Jones” on Netflix. The show is the second (following “Daredevil”) of Netflix’s four planned series in the Marvel Universe that will serve as a lead-up to a Defenders crossover miniseries. While an air date has not been announced, the show will be available on Netflix at some point in late 2015.
“Young and Hungry” continues its second season on ABC Family Wednesdays at 8 p.m. The sitcom follows the life of a personal chef in San Francisco. Openly gay actor Rex Lee has a supporting role on the series, and comedian Bryan Safi, who is also gay, has a recurring role as Lee’s finance.