’s Fall 2008 TV Preview



CBS’ fall lineup does not include any shows with regular lesbian/bi characters, although two shows, The New Adventures of Old Christine and new drama The Ex List both contain lesbian story lines. Two out actors, Sara Gilbert and Kirsten Vangsness, are also featured on CBS programs. The 17th season of Survivor, which has included out lesbian/bi contestants in the past, premieres on Sept. 18; as of press time, the show has not yet announced its cast for this season.

Lesbian/Bi Characters, Story Lines and Actors

The Big Bang Theory
Premiere: Sept. 22, 8 p.m.

This season, out actor Sara Gilbert will become a regular cast member on the sitcom about two socially awkward but brilliant physicists. She’ll reprise her role as Leslie Winkle, the on-again, off-again love interest of physicist Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki).

Sara Gilbert (right) with Johnny Galecki

Photo credit:

Greg Gayne/Warner Bros.

The New Adventures of Old Christine
Premiere: Sept. 24, 8 p.m.

The Emmy Award-winning comedy about divorced mother Christine Campbell (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) launches its fourth season this year with a story line involving a lesbian wedding between Christine and her best friend, Barb (Wanda Sykes).

Julia Louis-Dreyfus (left) and Wanda Sykes in the season premiere

Photo credit:

Cliff Lipson/CBS

Photo credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS

"It turns out that Barb … is finally getting a divorce," Louis-Dreyfus explained to, "which means she loses her citizenship, and so I’m gonna help her regain her citizenship." This story line, Louis-Dreyfus said, is "one of our biggest ones" this season.

Criminal Minds
Premiere: Sept. 24, 9 p.m.

Out lesbian actor Kirsten Vangsness plays computer expert Penelope Garcia in this crime procedural about an elite team of FBI profilers.

Kirsen Vangsness

Photo credit:

Monty Brinton/CBS

The Ex List
Premiere: Oct. 3, 9 p.m.

Based on an Israeli series, The Ex List stars Elizabeth Reaser (Puccini for Beginners) as Bella Bloom, a single, 30-something businesswoman who learns from a psychic that she has already dated her future husband. If she doesn’t find him within the next year, the psychic tells her, she’ll be alone forever, so Bella begins the process of reconnecting with every one of her exes.

Elizabeth Reaser

Photo credit:

Cliff Lipson/CBS

In the Israeli version, the main character did have a female ex, but after they are reunited it only underscores why she is straight. The publicist for CBS’ version of The Ex List confirmed to last week that Bella Bloom will indeed have a female ex-lover, but they did not have any further information on that story line, nor did they know when it would air.

Other CBS Shows of Interest

Premiere: Oct. 9, 9 p.m.

The ninth season of CSI debuts with an episode dealing with the murder of Warrick Brown (Gary Dourdan). Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox) returns in the season premiere to mourn his death and to help solve the crime. Later on this season, a new CSI, Bryce Adams — played by Lauren Lee Smith (The L Word), will join the Las Vegas team.

Lauren Lee Smith

Photo credit:

Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage

She is described in CBS’ press materials as "a smart, flirtatious, and witty non-conformist who entered law enforcement to rebel against her judgmental psychiatrist father. She has always been fascinated by the perverse underbelly of society and cannot be shocked or intimidated."

How I Met Your Mother
Premiere: Sept. 19, 8:30 p.m.

Now in its fourth season, this sitcom stars Alyson Hannigan (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as artist Lily Aldrin, friend to Ted Mosby, who narrates the story of "how I met your mother."

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