The upcoming season of Showtime’s The L Word promises to lure those moonlighting as non-fans back to our favorite Los Angeles lesbians, as Cybill Shepherd joins the cast for a fourth go on the tube. Shepherd, famous for her crime-solving role alongside Bruce Willis and intoxicating wit as the lead character in Cybill, will portray a married woman with two grown children who suddenly begins questioning her sexuality. Shepherd will appear in several episodes, starring as an executive vice chancellor of the fictional California University (same place Brandon and Brenda Walsh went!) and boss to Jennifer Beals’ character Bette Porter. No word as yet on further plot developments with Shepherd’s character, but putting her into the mix brings yet another iconic female ’80s actress into the mix, building on the recent addition of Marlee Matlin’s character.
Bravo to, well, Bravo for bringing back Project Runway for a third season and Top Chef for a second run. Ms. Mega-model Klum, designer Michael Kors and Elle Magazine fashion director Nina Garcia will decide among the top-three final designers this October when the trio show their stuff during New York Fashion Week. Meanwhile in Los Angeles, 15 rising chefs will participate in a slew of culinary challenges and try to impress the panel of judges including Actress/writer Padma Lakshmi, restaurateur Tom Colicchio and food expert Gail Simmons of Food & Wine magazine. Here’s hoping another fiery queer girl like last season’s Tiffani Faison will give the other chefs a run for their money.
New to the Bravo network this season is Funny Girls, a series of stand-up comedy specials with names like Joan Rivers, gay icon Paula Poundstone and Caroline Rhea (Sabrina the Teenage Witch) going on stage and talking about everything from daughters to anatomy. Poundstone, making her first new comedy special in more than ten years, has put together Paula Poundstone: What the Cat Dragged In. Rivers, 73, will do her usual dish about celebrities and everything they don’t want you to know about them in her hour-long special Joan Rivers: Before Melissa Pulls the Plug.
Sex is on the minds of those at here! this season, as the network unveils Lesbian Sex and Sexuality, an uncensored and informative look inside the world of lesbian sexual culture. Documentarian Katherine Linton, whose previous work includes VH1’s AIDS: A Pop Culture History, Black Las Vegas: In Through the Backdoor for The Learning Channel and A&E’s The Junkie Next Door: Women and Heroin, put together this new six-part half-hour series to explore cutting edge and relevant issues facing the lesbian and gay community. The show promises to be an honest examination of lesbians’ lives, delving into society’s ever-growing fascination with alternative forms of sexuality.
Speaking of sexuality, Rue McClanahan, of Golden Girls fame, will be returning this season to grace us with her presence in Ryan’s Life, a show about a gay teenager called Ryan and his coming out struggles. McClanahan will play Ryan’s grandmother, Connie Harris, and be the confidante the teen needs while navigating the halls of high school and the local mall. As a way to express his, well, feelings, Ryan sees up a video journal and relates his feelings rather than tell his friends or immediate family. The show, slated for a debut in 2007, comes from writer/director Nick Wauters.
here!’s goth-gay hit, Dante’s Cove returns for its second season tonight (Sep 1), and the network is hoping this season’s lesbian storylines will give the show enough dyke drama to rival The L Word’s. Thea Gill, formerly of Queer as Folk, is just one of the new additions to the cast.
For those of you who were in hibernation the past couple of months, Rosie O’Donnell has come to ABC’s The View. Now in its tenth, yes tenth, season, The View promises to be a bit rosier with the addition of Ms. O’Donnell as moderator, having replaced Meredith Vieiera who replaced Katie Couric over at The Today Show. Deep breath. Ok. O’Donnell now sits alongside fellow co-hosts Barbara Walters, Joy Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck. This season, The View officially begins searching for a new co-host following the departure of Star Jones. Over the past few months, producers said they have been inundated with resumes from hopeful women (and men), all interested in what has become a coveted seat in daytime talk.
Also on ABC this season is Brothers & Sisters, a one-hour primetime drama about the California-based Walker family that introduces viewers to “damaged” adult siblings dealing with their “perfect” parents. Of interest is Kevin, a gay lawyer played by Matthew Rhys, who deals with love issues throughout the show’s season. Ken Olin, whose previous directing credits include Thirtysomething, Felicity and Alias, is executive producer for the show.
Get ready to laugh, cry and come out all over again while tuning into Logo this season. Turn on your computer and tune in to the network’s first-ever online series, The Outlaugh Festival on Wisecrack , which presents some of today’s hottest LGBT comics performing stand-up routines. You’ll cry as Logo shows Boys Don’t Cry Nov 12, with Hilary Swank in her Academy-Award winning role as Brandon Teena. And celebrate National Coming Out Day Oct 11 with Logo watching the season finale of the reality series Coming Out Stories. Also, don’t miss 2006: The Year in Queer, a program that will wrap up this year’s LGBT programming, film, music and news.
Rosie O’Donnell will also giving some love to Logo this season, serving as executive producer of the new sketch-comedy series tentatively called The Big Gay Show. The six half-hour episodes, scheduled to premier in early 2007, will feature traditional routines, plus musical numbers, parodies and recurring characters—all with an LGBT point of view.
The WB and UPN unite this fall to create the newest network, The CW. Both channels never failed in bringing smart strong women into our homes, and the amalgam is even better. Imagine, on Tuesday nights alone, the amount of girl-power we’ll get from the witty Gilmore Girls and kickass sleuth Veronica Mars! And the reality show that brought us lesbian darling Kim Stolz, America’s Next Top Model, returns on Sunday nights beginning Sep 20.
If you missed your chance to win American Idol, now’s your chance to be the newest member (the seventh, to be exact) of pop/R&B band The Pussycat Dolls, on the tentatively titled reality series, The Search for the Next Pussycat Doll. Pussycat Dolls creator/founder Robin Antin will oversee a group of young female hopefuls who will live together and have their singing and dancing abilities put to the test. The show is slated to air during the 2006-07 season and the nationwide hunt for talent begins now! If you’ve got what it takes, send your video submissions to Pussycat Doll Casting, 2801 Ocean Park Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405.
If only The N existed when we were teenagers, things would have been so much clearer! This season on the nighttime network for teens includes a second season of the half-hour series South of Nowhere. Set and shot in Los Angeles, the show follows the Carlin family, notably Spencer Carlin, a good-natured girl who has left Ohio and is now noticing she’s feeling more than just happy when she’s around other girls. Spencer questions everything, from her friends to her sexuality, and finds a new best friend, Ashley, who becomes her guide to Los Angeles…and more.
Also on the N is Degrassi: The Next Generation, which is coming back for its sixth season. Marco Del Rossi has broken up with boyfriend Dylan and is fairly comfortable with his sexuality. He’s got his sexuality pretty well figured out, except that he still hasn’t told his father. Deep down he knows his coming out process isn’t over yet. But at the same time as Marco is trying to deal with friends, family and his sexuality, he knows there’s more to him than just being gay. Stay tuned!
Deadwood may be just about dead (Calamity Jane, we’ll miss you!), but at least those politically-minded folks out there will get their homo fill on HBO with, believe it or not, Mr. Conservative: Goldwater on Goldwater. In this film, producer, narrator and granddaughter CC Goldwater shows viewers less-talked-about aspects of the life of Barry Goldwater in her first film. Few people know that the Senator from Arizona and former presidential candidate said in 1993 that the U.S. military should lift its ban on gays. Few others also know that Goldwater’s grandson is gay and his grandniece is a lesbian. The film reveals Goldwater, who died in 1998, as a man either glorified or vilified by the American public. It traces the roots of Goldwater’s conservative philosophy, conveys how he united the conservative movement to lead the Republican Party into a new generation of politics and demonstrates how his consistently Libertarian mindset led him to diverge from the Conservative party orthodoxy in the ’80s and ’90s.
A new comedy The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman follows comedian Laura Kightlinger and her on-screen best friend as the duo maneuver through the not-so-glamorous side of Hollywood. The show is an eight-part, half-hour comedy series and features the two women interacting with a host of characters, including Mitchell, the gay assistant working at Image Magazine, the fledgling Hollywood rag where Jackie writes, Connor, Tara’s “boyfriend” who everyone knows is gay, except Tara, and Kit and Joan, a lesbian couple, who move in next door to Jackie and save the day. Don’t miss the season finale Sep 22.
This October, the gay and lesbian news magazine In the Life documents the story of a U.S. solider honorably discharged during his second tour of duty after it was discovered he was gay. Now in its 15th season, In The Life will relate the story of 32-year-old Jeff Howe, who started a daily blog called “Iraq My Brain” as a way to relieve anxiety and communicate with family during his time abroad. But Jeff ran into trouble after one blog entry was posted showing a photo of a U.S. truck that had been destroyed by enemy fire. This prompted an Army investigation that led to the discovery of Jeff’s homosexuality, and ultimately his dismissal from the Army. The show chronicles the daily pressures Jeff felt being in the army, but also his choice to talk to the media about the situation surrounding his honorable discharge.
Join the likes of Carnie Wilson, Vinnie Pastore of The Sopranos, Nick Turturro of NYPD Blue and rapper Bonecrusher, Tina Yothers (yes, of Family Ties) as they embark on grueling fitness, nutrition and, of course, drama, and fight each other to reach their weight goals on Celebrity Fit Club 4. Gay comedian ANT is back as host for the season, guiding our cast of characters on their three-hour tour through positive reinforcement and tough love.
After a stint as duplicitous Dylan on The L Word, Alexandra Hedison has gone from home wrecking (Helena’s, that is) to hosting A&E’s home-makeover-series-with-a-twist Designing Blind. New episodes starring the blind designer Eric B. air through November.