It all started mid-January with the Showtime saying they wouldn’t be bringing back The Real L Word for a fourth season. Instead, the network would take their L Word franchise in a new direction, a documentary style telling of the lives of real lesbians that live outside of thriving gay metropolises like L.A. and New York. A similar thing happened with Bomb Girls more recently, when Global TV decided to nix a third season of the Canadian series and, instead, provide fans with a movie.
Unfortunately, this is where the trend ends, as the other lesbian shows, writers and characters that have gotten the axe in 2013 will not be revived in any sense of the word, at least not that we know of. This week’s network up-fronts delivered the rest of the bad news: Not only would we be losing more great gay female characters, we’d also be seeing the end of shows starring and created and written by gay women. Here’s who we’re saying goodbye to after this TV season.
Fictional Lesbian Characters
Betty McRae on Bomb Girls
Despite a strong international fan base, Global TV decided not to go forward with a third season but said there was a possibility of a two-hour Bomb Girls movie in 2014. It’s bittersweet because Betty McRae (Ali Liebert) is one of the best queer women characters to grace our screens. Swagger for days, wit and strength, she was fearless at times and worrisome at others. She was the perfect portrait of a gay woman at the time of the world war, and her pining for Kate Andrews had us swooning. At least we have the movie as a consolation prize.
Tyra on Emily Owens M.D.
Kelly McCreary played surgeon-in-training Tyra on The CW’s hospital dramedy starring Mamie Gummer. At first she was just Emily’s sidekick, but grew to have a fully-realized life and love interest, which could have been due to Joanna Johnson‘s executive producer position on the show. The show was canceled back in February, and the only thing that we can be thankful for is that Mamie Gummer will be moving on to play a lesbian cop on the CBS series Backstrom, which has yet to be picked up but our fingers are crossed.
Anne on Go On
Julie White played a hard-ass lesbian widow on the Matthew Perry series, and her role in the ensemble comedy was definitely a stand-out. A lawyer, a mom and a newly single gay woman, Anne was Ryan King (Perry)’s ideal best friend and wingwoman, and she knew how to steal a scene. Her sexuality was never the butt of any lazy jokes, and out of all of the nutty characters in the grief support group, she had it the most together.
Sophia on Underemployed
Michelle Ang played a recent graduate stuck in a mindless job while trying to write the great American novel. As if she didn’t have enough going on, she also figured out she was a lesbian. This MTV show didn’t find enough fans, which might not be too shocking considering it ran Jersey Shore for six seasons. Sadly Sophia was one of the coolest young lesbian characters TV had on air, there just wasn’t enough hype for watchers to find it, especially after it moved from Tuesdays to the Saturday night death slot.
We lost Cat McKenzie in Season 2, and we should have known then that it didn’t bode well for Frankie, Sam and Tess. Ruta Gedmintas (Frankie) was cast in NBC’s Do No Harm, but that show got the axe after only two episodes aired. Heather Peace is going strong on Waterloo Road and in her musical career, and Anna Skellern (Lexy) is still playing gay on Sue Perkins‘ Heading Out, but we’ll always wonder what happened with our favorite Glasgow group and their twisted love triangles.
Marigold on 1600 Penn
Amara Miller played the President’s preteen daughter Marigold with perfection. A tomboy who bonded with her older brother over their lack of understanding when it came to women, the NBC comedy had provided itself with a great opportunity to show what a first family with a gay kid looks like. Unfortunately, they didn’t use Marigold as much as they should have, instead focusing on the other children and the show was officially cancelled as of May 9.
Brenda on Rules of Engagement
CBS has decided seven seasons of the series is enough, and their 100th episode finale will have lesbian surrogate Brenda (Sara Rue) finally going into labor and providing main characters Audrey and Jeff with their long-awaited baby. Brenda was only recurring, so we didn’t get to see the ins-and-outs of her life as a gay woman carrying someone else’s child, but when she was hanging around, she was a pretty rad softball playing, flannel-wearing gay woman with a lesbro in Patrick Warburton.
Jane on Happy Endings
Eliza Coupe played the bisexual Jane Kerkovich-Williams on the ABC comedy, and we’re strongly hoping she’ll continue to do so if USA picks up the series. (PLEASE!?) On the show’s second season, we met Jane’s college ex Ryan and found out Jane was a little more of a LUG — Lesbian Until Graduation.
Nora and Anne on The Secret Life of the American Teenager
Molly Ringwald played a late-in-life lesbian mom on the fourth season of the ABC Family series. It was a really interesting trajectory for her character, and it caused for a lot of other characters to speculate about their own or their peers’ sexual orientations. Prior to Anne’s coming out, though, Ricky’s mom Nora (Anne Ramsay) came out first, though, after she got out of prison and told her son about her incarcerated girlfriend. The final episode of the show will air June 10.