Ratings high for gay shows

By Gina Peracchia
September 4, 2003

Erik Unger/KRT Campus

Over 10 years ago, gay people were exactly what viewers did not want to see on their television sets. A fairly large amount of people tried to think of every possible excuse to have them banned. But this did not stop them, and slowly gay characters started creeping up on networks. The shows they starred in or were featured became the most watched shows on television. Now in 2003, gay characters and shows based on gay people are everywhere.

According to USAToday.com, Americans are becoming less accepting of homosexuals and returning to a more traditional attitude as they did in the mid-1990s. Even though this may be the case, television shows featuring gay people are pulling in high ratings.

One of the newest shows to go mainstream is “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy.” This show features five gay men who help a straight man in dire need of some fixing up in his life. Each man has their own specialty: fashion, interior design, food and drink, culture, and grooming. This show has become so popular on the network, Bravo, that some of the episods have been aired on NBC.

Another show, also on Bravo, that people can’t stop talking about is “Boy Meets Boy.” This is another reality show to add to the pile, but with a twist. Think of the Joe Millionaire theme but without the leading man being rich, add in gay men and a few straight men posing as gay men, and this is what you get. Who is straight and who is gay?

A show that was controversial a couple years ago that has recently fizzled, but is still being shown, is “Queer as Folk” on Showtime. The writers of this show, who are also gay, decided to write a show about gay men, but show the sexual and racy side of their lives along with their everyday lives. Believe it or not, many homosexuals were offended by this show when it first aired, because they felt it was stereotyping all gay people as being promiscuous and careless.

Of course, “Will and Grace” cannot be left out of this list. This show has been going strong for five years, and mainly because of the gay character, Jack. Even though Will and Grace is not considered a “gay” show, it is still one of the most popular sitcoms on television and mainly because of Jack’s flamboyant personality.

Networks are trying to show that homosexuals do not need to be pushed out of the spotlight. On the contrary, to learn more about the alternative lifestyle they live, the networks want to produce shows that star gay characters.

Unfortunately, because of recent events such as the president expressing his dislike for gay marriages, some peoples’ opinions on homosexuals have changed. But this does not seem to be stopping them from watching their shows and giving them the highest ratings on television.

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Gina Peracchia

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