2013/2014 TV Schedule Will Have Fewer Shows With Gay Characters

The New Normal

The major networks have released their 2013/2014 schedules and there will be a number of shows with gay characters or gay themes noticeably absent from next season’s lineup.  Despite that fact, the networks and society as a whole mainstreamed what it means to be gay in America.  It must therefore not be seen as a failed experiment but more a reality of the media business.   One thing can not be disputed, bringing gay families and gay issues to television has been one of the main reasons that more than 50% of the US now favors legalizing same-sex marriage.  However, at the end of the day, it’s all about advertising; eyeballs.  And shows like The New Normal, didn’t attract enough of an audience to keep advertisers interested.  And that’s still the bottom line.  A message is important but not to the shareholders. Shows like Glee, showed teens, not just gay teens but all teens, who feel, or are different, that it’s ok to be different.  When I was growing up, there were no television commercials featuring black or hispanic families.  It just wasn’t done.  Thankfully, times have changed and people have  become more enlightened and accepting.  The television networks have certainly done more than Hollywood to further the cause of gays and lesbians, only occasionally making a Brokeback Mountain.  In fact Hollywood hasn’t made any gay romantic comedies; not because of a lack understanding or empathy, but because of the fear that a limited audience would cause the movie to fail at the box office.  That’s obviously the bottom line for any movie.  Just as Hollywood didn’t want news about Rock Hudson being gay to get out, neither would Hollywood want news about George Clooney being gay getting out.  Too many women imagine George Clooney or Brad Pitt sweeping them off their feet.  And since that’s the overwhelming audience of romantic comedies, Hollywood isn’t going to make them.  But going back to my original point, shows about gay families or shows with gay characters, demonstrated that gays and lesbians are no different than any other people and must deal with the same trials and tribulations of any “normal” characters or families.  Minnesota just became the 12th state to legalize same-sex marriage and regardless of how many “gay” tv shows or gay characters are featured, these shows helped move the issue of same-sex equality forward and that in the end, is all that should matter.

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