As the television networks announced their fall schedules during this week's upfronts, news was pretty mixed for TV's LGBT characters.
The good news first: Former "Will & Grace" star Sean Hayes is returning to NBC with a new sitcom bound to touch on gay issues.
In "Sean Saves the World," the openly gay Hayes stars as a divorced gay dad raising a teenage daughter (Sami Isler) with the aid of his overbearing mother (Linda Lavin). Judging by the trailer, the show will tread on conventional multi-camera sitcom ground, especially with that pushy laugh track. Still, it's nice to see Hayes step away from swishy stereotype Jack McFarland and offer a gay spin on the overplayed "can a single parent work, raise kids and generally have it all?" trope. The show is set to to air Thursdays on NBC, anchoring the network's long-standing comedy block.
The sitcom slaughterhouse cut at least five shows featuring LGBT characters this year, including gay-focused "The New Normal" and musical drama "Smash". The situation wasn't much better on the other networks -- per Slate's count, 12 shows with gay or lesbian characters got the axe this season.
Here's Slate's full list: "The New Normal", "Go On", 'Smash', "The Office" and "1600 Penn", all on NBC; "Happy Endings" and "Don't Trust the B--- in Apartment 23" on ABC; "90210", "The L.A. Complex" and "Emily Owens, M.D." on the CW; "Partners" on CBS; and "Southland" on TNT.
What do you think about the shows that were canceled? And are you excited about Sean Hayes' new role?