2013 Network Cancellations: Gay Characters Being Targeted?
We’re still processing the fact that so many of our favorite network shows got the axe this month (don’t leave us, The New Normal!). But some analysts are wondering if there is a troubling correlation between many of the series that were recently canceled.
The Hollywood Reporter points out that a number of shows revolving around LGBT characters are now gone, including Ryan Murphy’s The New Normal on NBC and Partners on CBS. Also canceled was Smash, with four gay main characters, and Happy Endings, a show in which the character Max had been dubbed by the A.V. Club as "TV's least stereotypical gay character."
And that’s not all. Go On, Don't Trust the B— in Apt. 23 (whose creator is openly gay), Malibu Country, 90210, Emily Owens, M.D., The Office and L.A. Complex all featured prominent gay characters.
Plus, let’s not forget that Glee’s very own Heather Morris, who plays bisexual Brittany, does not yet have a contract for Season 5 and is rumored to infrequently appear on the show next season, if she pops up by at all.
What this means is that the landscape for LGBT characters on TV will look quite different than it appeared a year ago, when the networks were praised for their openness. However, it’s not like networks are completely shying away from gay main characters, as NBC’s Sean Saves the World will star Sean Hayes as an openly gay father.
So do you think network execs are purposely getting rid of shows with gay leads in order to attract a different audience? Or perhaps this is just a sign that it’s more common for new shows to have gay characters — and maybe it just so happens that none of these canceled shows were particularly great.