LGBTQ shows and characters debut and return in 2020

“AJ and the Queen”

The holidays are over, and it’s still cold outside. You might want to huddle in your home the next few weeks or months to escape the cold weather. Fortunate for you social and literal hibernators, there is quite of lot of queer streaming and broadcast content for you to digest while hiding from old man winter this season.

So lock the doors, order some take-out and warm up the flatscreen, because here are some of the queer-themed TV shows that are going to carry you through the bitterly frigid weeks ahead.

The new Showtime series, “Work In Progress,” debuted in December, but still has new episodes scheduled to air through the end of January. The show is a semi-autobiographical comedy starring Abby McEnany as a 45-year old self-identifying “fat, queer dyke,” who battles with depression and anxiety in her life. The series finds her entering into a transformative, very queer relationship during a time of crisis.  

Drag Queen of all media, RuPaul, stars in the Netflix feature film “AJ and the Queen,” as Robert Lee —  also as drag queen Ruby Red — who has big dreams of opening his very own drag club. After years of performing in clubs across the country to save money, he realizes he’s been swindled by a couple of charismatic grifters. Robert has no choice but to pick up the pieces and start over with a cross-country Ruby Red roadshow. That’s when AJ, a scrappy, streetwise 10-year-old escaping a difficult home life, stows away in Robert’s rundown RV. Robert suddenly finds himself as a de facto parent, and AJ and Ruby must find a way to navigate tough times as they learn a few tricks from one another and roll on to better days. “AJ and The Queen” is available now.

The teen dramedy, “Sex Education” returns for a second season Jan. 17 on Netflix following adventures of a British teen who has an over-sharing and promiscuous sex therapist — played by Gillian Anderson — for a mother, as well as an openly gay best friend who comes from a religious Ghanaian family. 

“Merce,” the award-winning HIV+ musical comedy web series, returns Jan. 21 for a second season. The show mixes MGM classic film ethos with potty mouth flair, for the show’s eight new episodes, each with its own elaborately choreographed original musical number.  All of the series’ favorite characters are returning as well, including Southern Mama, the fabulous fairies and the titular character, Merce, who refuses to be defined by his HIV+ status.  This new season will touch on hot-button topics including PrEP, slut-shaming and gay marriage.

Will & Grace returned for the last half of the groundbreaking shows final revival season, Jan. 9 on NBC and will feature 13 new episodes before it takes its ultimate bow. This season finds the two titular characters each staring down the barrel of single parenthood and all the wacky misadventures that come along with it.

Another groundbreaking comedy ending this season is “Modern Family,” featuring married gay couple Cam and Mitch (played by Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson). The series takes a bow after 11 seasons on April 8. Before the finale, ABC is presenting a fan-curated tribute on March 11. The network will kick off the night in primetime with the series’ very first episode, followed by favorite episodes that fans get to vote on. 

Also returning this month is season six of the Netflix comedy series, “Grace and Frankie,” starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as two women whose lives are turned upside down when their husbands announce they are in love with each other and want to get married.

Spinning off from the popular dark drama, “Riverdale,” the new show “Katy Keene” follows the lives and loves of four iconic Archie Comics characters, fashion legend-to-be Katy Keene (Lucy Hale), singer-songwriter Josie McCoy, performer Jorge Lopez — also Ginger — and “it girl” Pepper Smith as they chase their 20-something dreams in New York City together.

Queer characters and stories to look out for come in the form of Josie and Katy’s roommate Jorge (Jonny Beauchamp), who works at his family’s bodega and has his eye on Broadway, but after a series of rejections, he hopes to take his drag performance career as Ginger to the next level. Also, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” fan favorite, Shangela, will also be a part of season one.

“Katy Keene” debuts 8 p.m. Feb. 6 on CW.

Queer characters are still featured on CW’s superhero shows like “Batwoman” featuring out actress Ruby Rose as the titular gay superhero, as well as “Black Lightning” and “Supergirl,” both of which feature prominent gay characters.