Milestone: First TV program to spotlight AIDS The 1985 TV movie "An Early Frost" marks the first small-screen depiction of the AIDS crisis. Aidan Quinn portrays a successful lawyer named Michael Pierson who finds his health in decline. After a visit to the emergency room, Michael learns he's been exposed to HIV. The news propels him to come out to his parents that he's a gay man living with AIDS, but his family struggles with many of the false perceptions about the disorder. "An Early Frost" won in ratings that night, outdoing even the San Francisco 49ers/Denver Broncos game. The film was well received by the Television Academy too, receiving 14 Emmy nominations and winning four.