Fall Lineup Highlights For the Grrls

It’s that time of year again. Summer Friday’s have come and gone, school is starting up again, the weather is already reminding you that you own a coat, and no matter what you do for a living, going to work suddenly just got more annoying. But – for those who enjoy a good television show, and have missed their favorite shows and characters, the fall season brings at least one good thing: new things to watch on TV!

The 2008 fall television lineup includes a lot of new shows, new episodes of old shows, the thankful cancellation of bad shows and generally, something for everyone. Usually this means something for everyone except the lesbian viewer but this year we have found quite a few shows that are trying to change that. We’re providing you with a basic rundown of what’s coming soon to a television set near you that either stars, features, or involves a lesbian or bisexual actress or character. It could be better but it could have been, and has definitely already been, worse.

24, Fox
Premiere date: Sunday, November 23, 2008 (two-hour prequel to season premiere in Januray 2009).

24 is presented in real time, with each season depicting a 24-hour period in the life of Jack Bauer, who works with the U.S. government as it fights domestic threats. The past 6 seasons of the show have been popular, exciting, and award winning but Season 7 is sure to be the best yet for two great reasons: 1) there will be a female President portrayed on the show and, 2) the actress that plays her, Cherry Jones, is an out lesbian. We’re feeling patriotic already!

Bones, Fox
Premiere date: Wednesday, September 3rd

Bones centers around the brilliant, but socially inept, forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperence Brennan who works with ex-Army Ranger turned Special Agent, Seeley Booth, to help the Bureau solve crimes by identifying human remains that are too far gone for standard FBI forensic investigations. But the benefits of this show go beyond the smart and powerful female lead. Angela Pearly Gates Montenegro is the Jeffersonian’s resident forensic artist and in Season 4 she will become the reason we watch. Last season audiences learned that Angela was bisexual when a private investigator hinted that she was tipped by a girl named Roxy, who allegedly got her heart broken by Angela.  Throughout the earlier seasons, there were hints about Angela’s bisexuality, but it wasn’t until the end of the third season that it was set in stone.  Despite being engaged to an entomologist, it has been reported that Angela will get tangled up in some lesbian romance. Nice, Roxy sounds hot.

Degrassi: The Next Generation, The N
Premiere date: Friday, October 10th

The Paige and Alex relationship on Degrassi has been one of the strongest and longest lesbian storylines to appear on television. Although the two characters have had their ups and downs, their plotline was always written with the same treatment as the heterosexual relationships on the show. Season 8, however, does not look like it will include much about Paige and Alex – as they decided to go their separate ways at the end of Season 7 and both seem to have aged out of the show’s high school setting. Hopefully each will have guest appearances and you never know… there may be a new batch of young Canadian lesbians entering Degrassi High this fall.

Grey’s Anatomy, ABC
Premiere date: Thursday, September 25th

For four strong seasons Patrick Dempsey has been a totally understandable reason to watch the hour-long drama that centers on the personal and professional lives of five surgical interns and their supervisors. He really did age remarkably well! But it wasn’t until the end of the last season that lesbian viewers got a good reason to tune in too – and it came in the form of a passionate kiss between two of the shows female regulars. Dr. Callie Torres and Erica Hahn took their relationship to the next level with the kiss in the season finale and it has been reported that the storyline about the two will continue into Season 5. Additional reports even state that Grey’s consulted with GLAAD to prepare for the lesbian elements of their show. We’re thinking the whole Isaiah Washington “faggot” incident had something to do with the extra efforts for responsible gayness.

House, Fox
Premiere date: Tuesday, September 16th

House centers around the anti-social, pain killer addicted, witty and arrogant medical doctor, Gregory House, who has only half a muscle in his right leg. Also featured in the incredibly smart and medically heavy show is Dr. House’s team of medical doctors who work with him to try to cure very ill, ordinary people who come into their clinic. Among these secondary characters we find Olivia Wilde, who plays Dr. Hadley (a.k.a. Thirteen) and for the second time in recent years also plays bisexual. After tiny hints that the character may be bisexual it was confirmed in a casual and funny scene where she, another character, and House are watching a soap opera and she has the line, “I think I dated that Nurse…(pause)…no.” At the end of last season Thirteen learned that she had the disease Huntington’s chorea so we’re sure hoping the doctor’s found a cure over break.

My Own Worst Enemy, NBC
Premiere date: Monday, October 13th

We’re happy for Christian Slater and all but there is one reason and one reason only that this show made our list: Saffron Burrows. The actress has reportedly dated both men and women so we will consider her bisexual for now but either way, she’s gorgeous, so we’ll be watching her play opposite Slater as Dr. Norah Skinner and be routing for this new show to make it.

South of Nowhere, The N
Premiere date: Friday, October 3rd

The most depressing fall television news we learned that Spencer and Ashley (Spashley) – our favorite South of Nowhere girls – have only half a season more of being the cutest couple on television. It was announced in February that the show had been cancelled and would only return to finish out the third season, leaving many fans very upset and demanding more. The show premiered in 2005 and centered around two teenage girls who fell in love with each other. It was a positive and groundbreaking show in its depiction of a healthy and happy teenage relationship and presentation of gay role models for a young audience. We are looking forward to the new episodes but angry and sad that with each new show… we will be watching one of the last.

Tabitha’s Salon Takeover, Bravo
Premiere date: now airing

The official description of this show states: “Australian native Tabatha Coffey, the straight-talking former contestant from Shear Genius, visits struggling salons in Los Angeles and New York, and whips the desperate stylists and salon owners into shape.” We watch it because it’s an openly lesbian woman with her own show who arrogantly and rudely bosses people around in each episode and yet comes off likeable, smart, and admirable while doing it.

The Big Bang Theory, CBS
Premiere date: Monday, September 22

Last season this new show about “a woman who moves into an apartment next door to two brilliant but socially awkward physicists and shows them how little they know about life outside of the laboratory” was funny, cute, and somewhat original. This season out lesbian and Emmy nominated actress Sara Gilbert joins the cast as a series regular and it becomes a lot more!

The Cho Show, VH1
Premiere date: now airing

When thinking about Margaret Cho in her new reality program, The Cho Show, we wondered: Is she gay? Is she straight? And then we realized… she’s just funny.

The New Adventures of Old Christine
Premiere date: Wednesday, September 24th

Let’s face it – this show had us at Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Then we learned that the name of the show came from the premise in which Christine finds out that her ex-husband and friend is dating a new, younger girlfriend, also named Christine – hence, these were to be the new adventures of the old Christine. Now, EW.com is reporting that Christine will marry her best friend on the show, Barb (Wanda Sykes). Even if it’s totally not about their lesbian love it is a gay wedding on network TV. We can’t wait!

Ugly Betty, ABC
Premiere date: Thursday, September 25th

Ugly Betty is a cute and funny show about Betty Suarez, a smart, sweet and hard working girl who is not thin and beautiful like all her coworkers at a high-fashion magazine but whose hard work and determination earns her the boss’s respect, as she helps him find his way through the shark infested waters of the fashion industry. Having a non-conventional female lead has made this show worthy enough of our respect but this season things really get grrl friendly as Lindsay Lohan reprises her role as one of Betty’s high school classmates.

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