Jun 20, 2005, 3:38:41 AM6/20/05
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I Want My Gay TV
Which television series appeals to a lesbian soccer mom, a Chelsea gym bunny, and you? Ask Brian Graden, the mastermind behind the new cable channel Logo.
By Adam Sternbergh
Last fall, an episode of Will & Grace aired in which Will, a gay lawyer, and Jack, his swishy best friend, were invited to a focus group for a new gay-and-lesbian TV channel. Will, the uptight, buttoned-down one, wanted shows that reflected a historical perspective on gay life and chronicled “our continuing struggles.” Jack, the flighty, fizzy one, wanted “gay Jeopardy!,” featuring naked men with buzzers. Will was asked to leave the group. Jack was hired as the junior VP of new programming.
The episode poked gentle fun at Logo, the gay-and-lesbian television channel owned by Viacom that, after a four-month delay, will be launched in 10 million homes on June 30. Will & Grace was also, of course, mocking the notion of programming a channel for an audience linked primarily by sexual orientation. To most urbane observers, it may seem like there’s an amorphous, know-it-when-you-see-it “gay” sensibility. (Golden Girls, yes; Everybody Loves Raymond, no; Antiques Roadshow, maybe.) But programming a niche channel around gayness is less like targeting, say, golf lovers than it is like targeting, say, people with red hair.