The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has come out with its list of LGBT TV to watch, and four broadcast net shows head the list.
Among the shows it cites as providing the "next wave of visibility" for featuring lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) portrayals are midseason shows:
The Book of Daniel (NBC), about an Episcopal minister with a gay son and bisexual sister-in-law; Emily's Reasons Why Not (ABC), featuring her "gay best bud, Josh"; Crumbs (also ABC), which features Fred Savage as the gay, and possible only sane, member of the zany Crumb clan; and Love Monkey (CBS), which features "gay pal, Jake," to star the character played by Tom Cavanagh.
All four debut in the first three weeks of January.
GLAAD also pointed to MTV's new The Real World: Key West, which features a gay housemate, and Bravo's Top Chef, which features a pumpkin lasagna-making bisexual woman and a gay man whose specialty is lamb enchiladas.
"Images on television and in film have the power to help Americans embrace their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender family members, friends and neighbors with understanding and acceptance," said GLAAD's Damon Romine, in announcing the shows to watch.
GLAAD also listed some other TV fare to watch out for in 2006 (the times--subject to change--and descriptions are directly from GLAAD:
Jan. 1, 2006: Celebrity Fit Club (VH1) kicks off a new round of famous people fighting flab, including out performer Bruce Vilanch and activist Chastity Bono.
Jan. 6, 2006: Party Line with the Hearty Boys (Food Network) premieres its second season, hosted by real-life couple Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh.
Jan. 8, 2006: The L Word (Showtime) season three premieres. Alan Cumming joins the cast as a Billie Blaikie, the quintessential party boy party planner. Actress Daniela Sea joins the show in the recurring role of Moira, a transgender character.
Jan. 10, 2006: Party, Party (Bravo) episode features two gay couples planning two very different weddings for themselves.
Jan. 10, 2006: All My Children (ABC) episode features the exit of Bianca (Emmy-winner Eden Riegel), Erica Kane's lesbian daughter, who returned to Pine Valley for the holidays.
Jan. 16, 2006: General Hospital (ABC) this week kicks into high gear the story of Luke Spencer's gay nephew Lucas (Ben Hogestyn).
Feb. 3, 2006: South of Nowhere (The N) airs its season finale which may leave viewers hanging about the romantic future of teen girls Ashley and Spencer. Not to worry, season two is on its way in Fall '06.
Feb. 7, 2006: Black Filmmaker Showcase: Jumpin the Broom (Showtime) is a documentary about marriage equality from an African American perspective.
Feb. 8, 2006: Black Filmmaker Showcase: Sarang Song (Showtime), set amidst the student protests of the early '70s, a woman must choose between her lover and the movement.
Feb. 11, 2006: Beautiful Daughters (Logo) is a moving documentary about the first transgender stage production of "The Vagina Monologues."
March 19, 2006: The Next Food Network Star (Food Network) kicks off its second season and features one or more LGBT contestants. Last season's winners, gay couple Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh, are now the hosts of the network's Party Line with the Hearty Boys.
April 2006: GLAAD Media Awards (Logo) recognize and honor the mainstream media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT community and the issues that affect their lives.
May 2006: "Will & Grace" (NBC) is scheduled to end its successful, Emmy-winning run after eight seasons.
June 2006: Deadwood (HBO) premieres its third season and adds Emmy-winner Brian Cox as Jack Langrishe, a gay and eccentric theater owner who tries to bring culture to the mean streets of Deadwood.