Our Fall TV Preview Guide to what’s gay this season

When it comes to gay representation on television this fall, there's the bad news and the not-quite-so-bad news. The bad news is that by our count, not a single new scripted network show features a gay character in a lead or supporting role. Several shows have hinted they may add a gay character at some point in the future, but as for now there are no new characters for gay viewers. There are, however, two transgender characters on new shows and one is played by a transgender actress.

The not-so-bad news is that gay visibility on returning shows does fare somewhat better. We still have several out gay actors playing straight parts on successful shows: the Emmy nominated Neil Patrick Harris on How I Met Your Mother, T.R. Knight on Grey's Anatomy and Eric Millegan on Bones. In addition, several more gay characters on hit shows are being added including the revelation that Kevin Walker's Uncle Saul (Ron Rifkin) Brothers & Sisters is gay, the addition of a love interest for Marc St. James (Michael Urie) on Ugly Betty as well as the gay couple moving to Wisteria Lane on Desperate Housewives.

In an effort to keep you abreast of all that is queer on TV, we at AfterElton.com bravely waded through all the new and returning shows coming this fall to find any glimmer of gayness. Here's what we found arranged alphabetically.

New Shows This Fall:

Alien Boot Camp (Logo)
Premieres: November 16
Airs: Fridays, Time TBA
Alien Boot Camp is the universe's first, largest, and most diverse collection of LGBT animation. ABC includes all forms of animation including traditional, experimental, stop-motion, claymation, computer-generated and even reality animation while genres include short films, music videos, short-form series and scenes of long-form animated series. Think Robot Chicken for queers.

(Note: Logo is AfterElton.com's parent company.)

Big Shots (ABC)
Premieres: September 27
Airs: Thursdays, 10:00 p.m. EST
Big Shots is more or less a male version of Desperate Housewives. Just call it Desperate Corporate Husbands. As the network describes it, "The line gets blurred between the boardroom and the bedroom in a new outrageous drama about four dysfunctional CEOs who will do anything to stay on top."

In other words, it's basically about a bunch of cheating men trying to cover it up. In the series premiere, Dylan McDermott, one of the above mentioned CEOs, is caught in flagrante with a transgender prostitute, a situation that comes back to haunt him. Unfortunately, the transgender character is very stereotypical and the source of much “humor”.

Cashmere Mafia (ABC)
Premieres: November 27 (special preview, but actual premiere is Dec. 4)
Airs: Tuesdays, 9:00 p.m. EST
According to their press release, ABC describes Cashmere Mafia thusly: "Four ambitious and sexy women, who've been best friends since business school, try to balance their glamorous and demanding careers with their complex personal lives in the city that never sleeps."

So, basically, it's Sex and the City, only with less sex. And more lesbians. Creator Kevin Wade has said gay characters will be added to the show down the road. Additionally, the show has a gay executive producer, Darren Star, the creator Sex and the City.

Dirty Sexy Money (ABC) Premieres: September 26
Airs: Wednesdays, 10:00 p.m. EST
Peter Krause (Six Feet Under) plays an altruistic lawyer who inherits his father's job as family lawyer to the richest family in New York. William Baldwin plays a senator having an affair with ABC's second new transgender character, this time played by real-life trans actress Candis Cane.

Judging from the first episode, Dirty Sexy Money treats its transgender character with somewhat more respect than does Big Shots. Baldwin 's character appears to actually love her, so it should be interesting to see how it plays out. Fortunately, the show is co-produced by the out Greg Berlanti, who has demonstrated with Brothers & Sisters that he's not just out to shock, but to create relatable queer characters.

Dr. Steve-O (USA)
Premieres: October 1
Airs: Mondays, 11:05 p.m. EST
Steve-O, of Jackass and Wildboyz fame, travels the country in an attempt to "de-wussify" men using his patented brand of bizarre, and often hilarious, dares and stunts. The various "wimps, nerds, and couch potatoes" have been nominated by buddies, girlfriends, wives, coworkers and even themselves. Steve-O, along with cohort Johnny Knoxville, has a history of being gay friendly, but we have no word on whether any of his "patients" will be gay.

Judge David Young (Syndicated)
Premieres: September 10
Airs: Check your local listings
Judge David Young is the latest judge to get his own show. What differentiates this judge (who came to national attention after sentencing two drunken pilots to jail) from the Judge Judys and Joe Browns is that Young is openly gay. While it's great to see a gay man in judicial robes, I'm not sure how I feel about the show's catchphrase: "Justice with a snap." And yes, he really does deliver his verdict with a sassy finger snap. Oh, and he is also prone to bursting into show tunes unprovoked.

New Amsterdam (FOX)
Premieres: September 25
Airs: Tuesdays, 8:00 p.m. EST (UPDATE: Pushed back to mid-season)
John Amsterdam, a New York homicide detective, has a little secret. He's really over 300 years old. In 1642, he saved the life of a young Native American woman by stepping in front of a sword during a massacre of her village. In return, the girl saves his life by weaving a spell that gives him eternal life — with one teensy, tiny minor catch. He'll become mortal again when he meets his soul mate. The first episode reportedly has a minor gay plot.

Pushing Daisies
Premieres: October 3
Airs: Wednesdays, 8:00 p.m. EST
Pushing Daisies isn't specifically gay, but coming from out writer/producer Bryan Fuller (Wonderfalls, Dead Like Me), with out producers Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinks, and featuring Broadway stars like Kristin Chenoweth and Swoosie Kurtz, you can be sure it will have a very gay sensibility. The show is about Ned (Lee Pace) who has the strange ability to bring dead things to life briefly — but also kill them again for good with a second touch. He uses his abilities to solve murders, but in the show's central conflict, he can't touch the woman he loves. It's a bit complicated, but entirely charming.

There are currently no out characters on Daisies, but Fuller assures that will change down the road and that there will be episodes with gay themes and characters.

The Search for the Next Elvira (Fox Reality Channel)
Premieres: October 13
Airs: October 13, 20, 31, 9:00 p.m. PT/12:00 a.m. ET
The beloved Mistress of the Dark herself, Elvira (aka Cassandra Peterson) has her own reality show in which she auditions aspiring mistresses looking to take over the crown and push-up bra. Sound bizarre? Well, just wait: Elvira's two co-judges, Patterson Lundquist and Christian Greenia, are two gay men who dress as Elvira during the show. A goth-infused remake of Top Model? This could be camp brilliance in the making.

Tim Gunn's Guide To Style (Bravo)
Premieres: September 6
Airs: Thursdays, 10:00 p.m. EST
It's a show where Tim Gunn (Project Runway) tells women how to dress. Need we say more? The title of the show is taken from Gunn's book of the same name. The press release from Bravo says, "With tough-love, guidance, and former model and fashion accomplice Veronica Webb at his side, Gunn leads fashion-challenged women on an emotional journey to unearth their personal style."

We've seen the first two episodes and while Gunn delivers the goods with his usual flair, the show isn't exactly groundbreaking. Nonetheless, for Tim Gunn fans, it doesn't disappoint.

Torchwood (BBC America)
Premieres: September 8
Airs: Saturdays, 9:00 p.m. EST
A spin-off of Doctor Who, Torchwood is already a huge hit in its native UK. Starring openly gay John Barrowman as the bisexual Captain Jack Harkness, this science fiction series is a bona fide breakthrough in gay visibility. Harkness is the mysterious, suave, and sexy commander-in-chief of a team of modern day investigators who use sci-fi technology to solve crimes both alien and human. Doctor Who has been quite gay-friendly over the years and Torchwood only builds on that.

Viva Laughlin (CBS)
Premieres: October 18
Airs: Sundays, 8:00 p.m. EST
According to CBS's description, "Hugh Jackman comes to primetime as executive producer (with a recurring guest role) in Viva Laughlin. This riveting series is based on the BBC smash Viva Blackpool about a casino in England."

Part drama, part thriller, part musical, Viva Laughlin (relocated to Nevada) isn't specifically gay, but it's produced by and guest stars Hugh Jackman (The Boy from Oz) and costars Eric Winter (Brothers & Sisters) … and it's a musical. Based on early buzz, you may want to make sure you tune in for the premiere. It might not last much longer than that.

Returning Shows This Fall:

America's Next Top Model (CW)
Season Premiere: September 19
Airs: Wednesdays, 8 p.m. EST
Supermodel/talk show host/diva extraordinaire Tyra Banks will be back once again this fall to whittle down the group of aspiring models with the help of her fabulous team, which includes the openly gay Jay Manuel and J. Alexander. Some seasons have featured lesbians or bisexual girls in the cast as well.

Bones (FOX)
Season Premiere: September 25 Airs: Tuesdays, 8:00 p.m. EST
While not specifically gay, Bones does costar the openly gay Eric Millegan (who plays straight on the show) and the straight but hunky David Boreanaz. Out actor Steven Fry has also had a recurring guest role and may return. Word is that the sixth episode this season will feature a gay character as well.

Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
Season Premiere: September 30
Airs: Sundays, 10:00 p.m. EST
As if having a fully realized gay character (sex life and all) wasn't enough, at the end of the last season the ABC drama added an older gay man now faced with coming out later in life. Matthew Rhys plays Kevin Walker and Ron Rifkin plays his uncle, Saul Holden. Additionally, Kevin's first love interest Scotty (Luke MacFarlane) is returning for seven episodes.

Bump! (here! TV) (OutTV)
Season Premiere: September 7
Airs: Tuesdays, 10:00 p.m. EST
This season, here! TV's gay travel show, hosted by Shannon McDonough and Charlie David, explores Provincetown, Boston, Northampton, MA, and Paris amongst other locales.

The Click List: Best of Short Film Season 4 (Logo)
Premieres: October 10
Airs: Wednesdays
Watch the LGBT-themed short films, then vote online for your favorites. The top-rated films will be aired again in the final episode.

Cold Case (CBS)
Season Premiere: September 23
Airs: Sundays, 9:00 p.m. EST
Another show that's not specifically gay, but it has included gay-positive stories in the past.

Dante's Cove (here! TV)
Premieres: October 19
Airs: Fridays
The gayest guilty pleasure on TV — or is that the guiltiest gay pleasure? — Dante's Cove returns for its third season. The whole gang — Bro, Grace, Kevin, Toby and Adam — are back for more magic and mayhem in the cove. Joining the cast this season are Jenny Shimizu, Reichen Lehmkuhl and Jensen Atwood (Noah's Arc).

Desperate Housewives (ABC)
Season Premiere: September 30
Airs: Sundays, 9:00 p.m. EST
ABC's wacky sudser returns for its fourth season with openly gay creator Marc Cherry still at the helm. Gay villainous teen Andrew Van de Kamp (Shawn Pyfrom) will be back, and Cherry promises Andrew will get a juicy storyline this season, although the possibly bisexual teen may not return to his gay ways after essentially getting neutered last season. Cherry also revealed that a gay couple, Lee and Bob Hunt, played by Kevin Rahm (Judging Amy) and soap vet Tuc Watkins (who also played gay on Beggars and Choosers),will be moving to Wisteria Lane this season and they'll be feuding with Susan (Teri Hatcher).

DL Chronicles (here! TV)
Season Premiere: September 7
Airs: Fridays
The "DL Chronicles" tells the stories of men of color who, by consequence and by choice, live sexually duplicitous and secret lifestyles. Created by real-life partners Deondray Gossett and Quincy LeNear, the series explores the consequences of living on the down low.

Drawn Together (Comedy Central)
Season Premiere: October 4
Airs: Thursdays, 10:30 p.m./9:00 p.m. CT The animated reality show spoof returns with gay character Xandir (voiced by openly gay actor Jack Plotnick) and the bisexual Captain Hero.

Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
Season Premiere: September 27
Airs: Thursdays, 9:00 p.m. EST
After the whole F-Word controversy last season and then Isaiah Washington's post-firing Blame Game Media Tour, T.R. Knight is thankfully back as straight intern George O'Malley. This season he's going to be Meredith's intern. Also returning will be Joe (Steven Bailey) as the out proprietor of the bar where the interns hang out. Last season introduced a plot line where Joe and his partner were trying to have child.

How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
Season Premiere: September 24
Airs: Mondays, 8:00 p.m. EST
Another openly gay actor playing straight, Neil Patrick Harris is back as the best reason to watch this show. Wayne Brady will reprise his role as Barney's gay brother.

Men In Trees (ABC)
Season Premiere: October 12
Airs: Fridays, 10:00 p.m. EST
Buzz's gay son George (Orlando Jones) will be back for at least two episodes, and recurring guest Mario Cantone returns as Terri.

My Name Is Earl (NBC)
Season Premiere: September 27
Airs: Thursdays, 8:00 p.m. EST
Gay Kenny will continue to show up occasionally.

The Office (NBC) Oscar Nuñez plays gay Oscar
Season Premiere: September 27
Airs: Thursdays, 9:00 p.m. EST
Oscar (Oscar Nuñez) is still around The Office … and still gay.

Project Runway (Bravo)
Season Premiere: TBA
Airs: TBA
What isn't gay about this show? There's the openly gay, wonderfully dapper and always erudite Tim Gunn , for starters. Then there are the contestants — we always have at least a few gay fellas in the bunch. Out designer Michael Kors is a judge. And, I mean, it's a reality show about fashion design. 'Nuff said.

Queer Eye (Bravo)
Season Premiere: TBA
Airs: TBA
The show is called Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Need I say more? The Fab Five (Carson, Jai, Kyan, Ted, and Thom) are back for their final season.

The Sarah Silverman Program (Comedy Central)
Season Premiere: October 3
Airs: Wednesdays, 10:30 p.m. EST
Sarah and her geeky gay best friends and neighbors, Brian (Brian Posehn) and Steve Steve Agee), are back for another season of their unique, and sometimes unsettling, adventures.

Scrubs (NBC)
Season Premiere: October 25
Airs: Thursdays, 9:30 p.m. EST
While the show isn't overtly gay, it has been very gay-friendly in the past. JD And Turk's bromance is a favorite topic. Last season we were supposed to learn Turk's father was gay, but it never happened. Perhaps it will this time around.

The Simpson's (FOX)
Season Premiere: September 23
Airs: Sundays, 8:00 p.m. EST
David Hyde Pierce will be adding his vocal talents as Sideshow Bob's brother in an episode later in the season, along with Kelsey Grammer as Sideshow Bob and John Mahoney as Bob's father. And let's not forget about Waylon Smithers, Mr. Burns' closeted (and love struck) assistant.

South Park (Comedy Central)
Season Premiere: October 3
Airs: Wednesdays, 10:00 p.m.
Another gay-friendly show that manages to include gay characters or references more often than not.

Survivor (CBS)
Season Premiere: September 20
Airs: Thursdays, 8:00 p.m. EST
CBS has announced that 22-year-old gay Mormon Todd Herzog is one of this season's survivors, and no doubt one of his greatest challenges will come in getting along with another castaway who happens to be a Christian radio talk show host.

Ugly Betty (ABC)
Season Premiere: September 27
Airs: Thursdays, 8:00 p.m. EST
Between Justin, Marc, and Alexis, this may just be the gayest show on TV. Marc will be getting a love interest in the form of a photographer named Cliff (David Blue) and Justin will be a little more visible.

Shows running in September with gay content:

The Business (IFC)
Airs: Sundays, 11:00 p.m. EST
Has a minor gay character. The show will run into September.

Eureka (Sci Fi Channel)
Airs: Tuesdays, 9:00 p.m. EST
Has a minor gay character. The show will run into September.

Flipping Out (Bravo)
Airs: Tuesdays, 10:00 p.m. EST
Star Jeff Lewis is gay, as are other cast members. The show will run into September.

Hotel Babylon (BBC America)
Airs: Wednesdays, 9:00 p.m. EST
Has a gay hotel desk clerk played by Michael Obiora. The show will run into September.

The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman (IFC)
Airs: Sundays, 11:30 p.m. EST
Includes out actor Patrick Bristow and has a gay assistant. The show will run into September.

Top Chef (Bravo)
Airs: Wednesdays. 10:00 p.m. EST
Gay contestant Dale may still be in the running, and judge Ted Allen will likely pop up a few more times to sample the fruits of the cheftestants' labors. The show will run into September.

Weeds (Showtime)
Airs: Mondays, 10:00 p.m. EST
Featuring Maulik Pancholy as the newly outed Sanjay. The show will run into September.

Gay Interest Movies Premiering This Fall:

24th Day (Logo)
Premieres: Sunday, December 2
A casual gay pickup turns into a nightmare in Tony Piccirillo's adaptation of his play, The 24th Day. Tom (Scott Speedman) picks up Dan (James Marsden) in a bar and brings him home. Once inside Tom's apartment, Dan realizes that he's been there before in another encounter with Tom several years prior. Eventually, things turn ugly, and Dan finds himself tied to a chair.

Tom extracts a blood sample, explaining to Dan that he just recently learned that he's HIV positive, with the belief that the only way he could have gotten the virus is from Dan. As they wait for the results, hours go by and Dan tries to engage Tom in conversation, to engage his sympathy, and find a way to escape.

Coffee Date (Logo)
Premieres: Sunday, October 14 World Premiere. When Todd, a divorcé in his 30s begins an online correspondence with Kelly (Wilson Cruz), he is shocked to learn that the person he clicked with is in reality a gay Latino man. Realizing that his brother Barry posted his ad in a gay personals section, Todd decides to fool his brother into thinking that he is actually interested in Kelly. But his plans backfire when his family, and soon everyone else in his life, believes he is a gay man in a relationship. Witty and clever, Coffee Date gives a straight guy a voyeuristic insight into the gay world and the perplexing challenge of proving to everyone he's not gay.

In the Blood (Logo)
Premieres: Sunday, October 28
World Premiere. In this sexy, supernatural thriller, Cassidy, a senior at a New York City college, starts having horrific, bloody visions of his freshman sister, Jessica, right when brutal attacks in the area leave a string of female corpses on campus. Realizing that his visions are most clear when he's fantasizing about other men, Cassidy finds himself struggling with his sexuality and ends up enlisting the help of a hustler to uncover the true meaning of his visions.