Now in only its third year as a television network, the CW has gone further than most networks to include LGBT characters in its programming. Two of its new shows, Stylista and Privileged, include gay men, while America’s Next Top Model includes both lesbian and transgender contestants. But the CW’s most anticipated fall show is 90210, and in July the series’ executive producer told AfterEllen.com that the show will include a gay/lesbian character.
Lesbian/Bi Characters, Story Lines and Actors
Premiere: Sept. 2, 8 p.m.
On first glance, 90210 uncannily resembles another teen-centered show, The N’s South of Nowhere. In 90210, the wholesome Wilson family — comprised of teens Annie and Dixon (her adopted, African-American brother), mom Debbie and dad Harry — moves from Kansas to Southern California, where Harry has taken a job as principal of West Beverly Hills High School. The show even features Maeve Quinlan (South of Nowhere, 3Way) as an overbearing stage mom.
All that’s left to make the comparison complete is a lesbian character, and executive producer Jeff Judah confirmed to AfterEllen.com that there will indeed be a lesbian/gay character within the first 12 episodes of the show, but he would not divulge the gender of the character.
The cast of 90210
Art Streiber/The CW
"It is a part of the fabric of society," Judah said, referring to LGBT people. "It is a part of the fabric of the world and that has changed since the original [series]."
When pressed for any further details, he answered: "I think it will be a story line, but we don’t want to do story lines where, oh, he’s a gambler and he never gambles again, or oh, I think I might be gay, and he’s never gay again. If you’re a gambler, you’re a gambler. If you’re gay, you’re gay. So it’s more like you weave it into the fabric of the show."
The CW has been cagey about all aspects of the remake of the 1990s TV series, opting to not screen it for critics. Publicists for the show did not answer repeated questions from AfterEllen.com about whether this character would be male or female, stating only: "Unfortunately we don’t have any more info for you. Its still early in the season in terms of what episode we’re currently shooting."
America‘s Next Top Model
Premiere: Sept. 3, 8 p.m.
Tyra Banks’ hit reality show has featured lesbian and bisexual contestants regularly since its first season. Now in its 11th "cycle," executive producer Ken Mok told AfterEllen.com in July that this season would include a lesbian contestant. "There is a contestant on the show this year who is a lesbian," he said, "and expresses herself incredibly well and articulately, and is a great, positive influence on the show."
The cast of Season 11 of ANTM
Jim De Yonker/The CW
Earlier this month, it was revealed that Top Model will include a transgender contestant this season named Isis in addition to the lesbian contestant. The show’s publicist told AfterEllen.com last week that the identity of the lesbian contestant will be revealed in the season premiere.