September 14, 2018 at 3:54 pm EDT | by Brian T. Carney
FALL ARTS 2018 TV: ‘Insatiable,’ ‘Insecure’ and a ton of reboots
gay shows 2018, gay news, Washington Blade

The cast of ‘The Conners’ sans Roseanne. (Photo courtesy ABC)

Now that new shows and new seasons premiere throughout the year, the falls television season has lost some of its luster. Nevertheless, there are some great offerings on their way, including LGBT fan favorites and series with interesting queer content.

Here is a sample of the shows on their way this fall, based on the latest information available. Schedules are subject to change, so check your local listings.

Four queer series have already hit the small screen. “Insatiable” (Netflix) premiered Aug. 10. Focusing on a teenaged girl who wants to get revenge on her bullies, the show includes several LGB characters. The third season of “Insecure” (HBO) dropped Aug. 12 and the show has already been picked up for a fourth season. Based on conversations with fans and writers after a male character revealed that he once had sex with a man, showrunner Issa Rae says she is ready to tackle LGBT issues in the show.

“The Deuce,” starring James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, returned to HBO Sept. 9. The action has jumped forward five years to 1977 and gay bartender Paul is becoming part of the burgeoning gay bar scene.

The eighth season of “American Horror Story” began on FX Sept. 12. Subtitled “Apocalypse,” the show is a crossover between “Murder House” (season one) and “Coven” (season there). The new season will combine characters, themes and plot elements from both seasons. All of the major cast members will return, with some of the actors playing multiple characters. Joining the cast will be Joan Collins (the original “Dynasty”) and Billy Porter (“Pose”).

“9-1-1” returns to FOX Sept. 23 for its second season. Angela Bassett plays LAPD police sergeant Athena Grant, whose husband Michael has come out as gay. Aisha Hinds plays out firefighter “Hen” Wilson and Tracie Thoms plays her wife Karen Wilson.

Anchored by openly gay Jim Parsons as super-nerd Sheldon Cooper, “The Big Bang Theory” will begin its final season on CBS Sept. 25.

The popular tear-jerker “This Is Us,” which has been hailed for its sensitive handling of race and sexuality, returns to NBC Sept. 25. During the first two seasons, Randall Pearson (played by Emmy-winning actor Sterling K. Brown), is reunited with his bisexual biological father William “Shakespeare” Hill (Ron Cephas Jones). William introduces the family to his ex-boyfriend Jessie (Denis O’Hare) before his death from cancer. In flashbacks, William (played by Jermel Nakia) abandons his infant son at a firehouse following the death of his girlfriend. It’s not clear how the chronologically flexible show will handle the bisexual storyline in season three or if creator Dan Fogelman will add additional LGBT plotlines.

Starring Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet as a gay couple, ABC’s “Modern Family” returns for its 10th and final season Sept. 25. The producers have announced that there will be a spin-off, but casting for the new show has not been announced.

Under the watchful and wildly inventive eye of openly gay creator Lee Daniels, the cross-over series “Empire” and “Star” return to Fox Sept. 26. Both shows feature prominent African-American LGBT characters. Trans actress Amiyah Scott plays Cotton, the trans daughter of salon owner Carlotta Brown (Queen Latifah).

Twenty years after the original series went off the air, the revival of “Murphy Brown” returns to CBS Sept. 27. Candice Bergen returns as the infamous title character, rejoined by Faith Ford (Corky Sherwood), Joe Regalbuto (Frank Fontana) and Grant Shoud (Miles Silverberg). Jake McDorman joins the cast as Murphy’s son Avery, a journalist who shares his mother’s quick wit and competitive spirit, and Nik Dodani plays the social media director for “Murphy in the Morning.” The gang still hangs out at legendary watering hole Phil’s, now under the management of Phil’s sister Phyllis (Tyne Daly). 

Jake McDorman as Murphy’s son on the ‘Murphy Brown’ reboot. (Photo by Francis Specker; courtesy CBS)

The award-winning “How to Get Away with Murder” returns to ABC Sept. 27 for a fifth season. Viola Davis stars as pansexual law school professor Annalise Keating and the show includes several other LGBT characters. 

Openly gay actor Leslie Jordan is part of the cast of the new show “The Cool Kids” which premieres on Fox Sept. 28. Set in a retirement home, the show also stars camp icon Vicki Lawrence (“Mama’s Family” and “The Carol Burnett Show”), David Alan Grier (“In Living Color”) and Martin Mull (“Roseanne”). 

The popular revival of “Will & Grace” returns to NBC Oct. 4 for its second season (10th total); the show has already been renewed for an 11th season. Out actor Matt Bomer joins the cast as a new love interest for Will (Eric McCormack) and David Schwimmer (“Friends”) joins the cast as a love interest for Grace (Debra Messing). Minnie Driver returns as Lorraine Finster, the scheming stepdaughter of Karen (Megan Mullally) and Brian Jordan Alvarez returns as Estafan, the flight attendant boyfriend of Jack (Sean Hayes). 

In addition, Chelsea Handler joins the cast as Donna Zimmer, a high-powered client of Grace’s who falls for Grace’s bitter sister Janet Adler (Mary McCormack). Blythe Danner, Robert Klein and Alec Baldwin return as guest stars and there will be cameo appearances from Jon Cryer and Olympic medal-nabbing gay figure skater Adam Rippon.

Directly following the season premiere of “Will & Grace,” “Superstore” will return to NBC for its fourth season. The ensemble cast of workers at the fictional big-box store “Cloud 9” includes openly gay Filipino actor Nico Santos (“Crazy Rich Asians”) as an openly gay Filipino store employee.

The multi-talented, multi-layered and very modest Justin Johnson, aka drag superstar Alyssa Edwards (a “RuPaul’s Drag Race” vet), stars in “Dancing Queen” which drops Oct. 5. Set in Johnson’s hometown of Mesquite, Texas, the Netflix docu-series follows the performer as he balances his dance life, his drag life, his family life and his love life and prepares his young students at the Beyond Belief Dance Company for competition. 

Alyssa Edwards in ‘Dancing Queen.’ (Photo by Jake Giles Netter; courtesy Netflix)

During the first weeks of October, the very queer friendly CW network will drop several new and returning shows, including the final season of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” a reboot of the cult favorite “Charmed,” the second season of the rebooted “Dynasty,” “Riverdale,” “Black Lightning” and three of the series set in the DC Arrowverse: “Supergirl,” “Arrow” and “The Flash.”

In the wake of actress Roseanne Barr’s Twitter meltdown and the cancellation of the revival of “Roseanne,” ABC has killed off her character. The rest of the family will be reunited in “The Conners” which premieres Oct. 16. Beyond Darlene’s gender non-conforming son Mark (Ames McNamara), it is unclear which of the original series’ LGBT characters will return.

In the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct, Netflix fired Kevin Spacey from “House of Cards,” where he played bisexual former President Frank Underwood. The sixth and final season will premiere without Spacey on Nov. 2. A recently released trailer shows President Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) standing over her husband’s grave.

GLAAD has hailed several daytime dramas for their LGBT storylines. Some on the ongoing soaps include “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “The Young and the Restless,” “Days of Our Lives” and “General Hospital.”

Finally, several series that with queer characters or with a strong LGBT fanbase are expected to return this fall, even though premiere days have not been announced. These include “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Dear White People” and “Transparent.”

© Copyright Brown, Naff, Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. 2018. All rights reserved.