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In our current lockdown era, television has been a lifeline for countless viewers around the world. Last year, we were distracted from the daily horrors of the coronavirus pandemic with several incredible LGBTQ+ offerings, from the horror stylings of Bly Manor to heartwarming dramas like We Are Who We Are and Love Victor, and of course, the sickening antics of the contestants on the ever-expanding Drag Race franchise. Thankfully, 2021 looks like it will be one of the most prominent years for queer representation wwith the return of many fan-favourites, as well as some exciting new ones. Looking forward to the year ahead, we at GAY TIMES have collected ten of the most highly-anticipated LGBTQ+ television shows of 2021. This list will be updated over time, so make sure to let us know if we’ve missed any in particular.

American Horror Story (and American Horror Stories)

When does it premiere? TBA

Cast: Sarah Paulson, Lily Rabe, Evan Peters, Kathy Bates, Billie Lourd, Finn Wittrock, Adina Porter, Leslie Grossman, Angelica Ross, Macaulay Culkin

After skipping a year in 2020 for the first time due to complications with COVID-19, Ryan Murphy’s acclaimed horror anthology series will make its long-awaited return this year – and of course, there will be some familiar faces. Last year, Sarah Paulson – who sat out last season – semi-confirmed the ever-elusive theme in a video with Harpers Bazaar. After a fan speculated that it will explore the long-rumoured “Aliens and Area-51,” trope, which was previously explored in Asylum, Paulson smirked in silence before ‘pleading the fifth’. Murphy also teased the direction of the season with the official poster, which features a hand in a surgical glove operating on a mouth full of fangs with a fountain pen. Not only that, but Murphy has announced a spin-off series titled American Horror Stories, plural, which will boast “one hour stand alone episodes delving into horror myths, legends and lore”. Of course, the series will include familiar faces from the original – including Paulson.


When does it premiere? 17 January on The CW

Cast: Javicia Leslie, Rachel Skarsten, Meagan Tandy, Nicole Kang, Camrus Johnson, Dougray Scott

Later this month, Javicia Leslie will make history as the first ever Black iteration of classic DC superhero Batwoman. The American actress, who’s best known for her two-season arc on the short-lived comedy-drama God Friended Me, will play the “likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed” Ryan Wilder, who will take over from Kate Kane/Batwoman. Original series lead Ruby Rose memorably quit the series last year, stating that her back injury on set was a contributing factor in her departure. However, Rose congratulated her successor on Instagram, writing: “OMG! This is amazing! I am so glad Batwoman will be played by an amazing Black woman. I want to congratulate Javicia Leslie on taking over the bat cape. You are walking into an amazing cast and crew. I can’t wait to watch season 2 you are going to be amazing!”


When does it premiere? TBA

Cast: Itzan Escamilla, Miguel Bernardeau, Arón Piper, Omar Shana, Claudia Salas, Georgina Amorós, Manu Rios, Carla Díaz, Martina Cariddi, Pol Granch

Following Élite’s praised third season, the Spanish teen drama was renewed for two more seasons at Netflix. That was the good news. The bad news… Mina El Hammani (Nadia), Danna Paola Lucrecia (Lu), Ester Expósito (Carla), Álvaro Rico (Polo) and Jorge López (Valerio) have all been axed, for reasons that are still scarce. Shortly after the announcement, Netflix revealed that Las Encinas will welcome four new cast members: Manu Rios, Carla Díaz, Martina Cariddi and Pol Granch. In a press release, Netflix said the stars will be “part of the universe of Las Encinas, one way or the other,” and that their characters “will cross paths with Guzmán, Samuel, Ander, Omar, Rebeca and Cayetana.”


When does it premiere? TBA

Cast: Zendaya, Maude Apatow, Angus Cloud, Eric Dane, Alexa Demie, Jacob Alordi, Barbie Ferreira, Nika King, Storm Reid, Hunter Schafer, Algee Smith, Sydney Sweeney, Colman Domingo

Like many other shows on this list, production on the second season of Euphoria came to a halt last year due to COVID-19. Because of this, series creator Sam Levinson shot two episodes to “bridge the gap” until season two, one of which has already aired. Trouble Don’t Last Always picked up after the events of the season one finale and followed Rue (Zendaya) who, on the brink of another relapse, spent an hour discussing drug addiction and her lack of faith with sponsor Ali (Colmon Domingo). The second will see the return of Hunter Schafer as Jules, and will air 24 January on HBO. An exact date for season two is yet to be announced, but we can see the series making a full return in the latter half of 2021.

Feel Good

When does it premiere? TBA

Cast: Mae Martin, Charlotte Ritchie, Lisa Kudrow, Sophie Thompson, Phil Burgers, Eve, Anthony Head, Marisha Wallace, Eleanor Matsuura, Jordan Stephens

Feel Good received widespread critical acclaim last year, particularly for Mae Martin’s semi-autobiographical lead character whose “behaviours and intense romanticism dominate every single part of her life”. In 2020, it was confirmed that the drama will return for a second and final season at Netflix with new cast members including Eve, Anthony Head, Marisha Wallace, Eleanor Matsuura and Jordan Stephens. “A lot of time when we see addiction represented on TV, it’s shown as this really dark, harrowing experience, which it can be,” Martin teased of the season. “But a lot of us have had the experience of doing something compulsively despite it having negative consequences. I think it’s important to show the mundanity of addiction and the universality of that experience.”

It’s a Sin

When does it premiere? January on Channel 4 and HBO Max

Cast: Olly Alexander, Omari Douglas, Callum Scott Howells, Lydia West, Nathaniel Curtis

This five-part drama from Queer as Folk visionary Russell T Davies follows a group of friends in 1980s London who grow up in the shadow of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Years & Years frontman Olly leads the cast as 18-year-old Ritchie Tozer, who leaves his family home on the Isle of Wight to move to the Big Smoke in search of fame and success. In the latest issue of GAY TIMES Magazine, Olly revealed that  Ritchie’s social and political views don’t always align with what we might expect from his character. “When I read the script, that’s what really blew me away about Ritchie’s character,” he explained. “I was so excited to try and get into his headspace. Ritchie makes a lot of questionable choices, you might say, watching the show. But playing him was so much fun because I really felt like I could understand where he was coming from. It’s really important to have a character that makes questionable choices. I really empathise with Ritchie going from a small town to London. That’s what I did.”

Love, Victor

When does it premiere? TBA

Cast: Michael Cimino, Rachel Hilson, Anthony Turpel, Bebe Wood, Mason Gooding, George Sear, Isabella Ferreira, Mateo Fernandez, James Martinez, Ana Ortiz

Love, Victor was confirmed to return for a second season before its debut even aired. When we spoke with showrunner Brian Tanner, he confirmed that the first two episodes were being written, but admitted that “with coronavirus and everything going on right now, we’re a little bit up in the air as to when this might go back into production, but we’re hard at work coming up with new stories for the show and we are very optimistic for the future.” So what could happen in the second season? Well, aside from addressing the massive cliffhanger, we asked lead actor Michael Cimino where he wants to see the show go in the future. “I’d really like to see the dichotomy between the family and the struggles that the parents have,” he said. “I’m excited for the process of the second season, we’re all excited to expand our characters and that universe more, for sure.”


When does it premiere? TBA

Cast: Mj Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Billy Porter, Indya Moore, Ryan Jamaal Swain, Hailie Sahar, Angel Bismark Curiel, Dyllón Burnside, Jeremy McClain, Jason A. Rodriguez

According to Variety, the third season of Pose resumed production in October, meaning it’s highly likely to make a comeback on our screens this year – possibly around summer. Steven Canals, who created the series with Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, said the show will undergo some major changes in its format due to the social distancing measures in place to prevent to spread of the virus. “Things like kissing — we will likely forgo those moments. The place on our show where the biggest impact will be felt will be the ball scenes,” he revealed. “Those scenes have 125 to 150 background actors. That’s tricky, because that’s such an important and critical part of our show and the narrative. We’re just, only now, having conversations of ‘Is there a world where we forgo these things?’”

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK

When does it premiere? 14 January on BBC iPlayer

Cast: RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Alan Carr, Graham Norton, A’Whora, Asttina Mandella, Bimini, Cherry Valentine, Ellie Diamond, Ginny Lemon, Joe Black, Lawrence Chaney, Sister Sister, Tayce, Tia Kofi, Veronica Green

Premiering 14 January on BBC, the second season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK will see the return of RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Graham Norton and Alan Carr, with Alan and Graham joining the panel on a rotational basis. It also boasts a star-studded line-up of guest judges including Dawn French, Gemma Collins, Jessie Ware, Jodie Harsh, Lorraine Kelly, Liz Hurley, Maya Jama, MNEK, Natalie Cassidy and Raven. To commemorate one of the most highly-anticipated instalments of RuPaul’s Drag Race in HERstory, we put all 12 fierce contestants of UK season two on our digital cover. Expect drama, conflama and, in the words of Ellie Diamond, “a cyclone of madness, like when Dorothy goes into her house to find Auntie Em and the window smashes her in the back of the head” – says it all really. ⁠You can read the interview here.

Sex Education

When does it premiere? TBA

Cast: Gillian Anderson, Asa Butterfield, Ncuti Gatwa, Emma Mackey, Patricia Allison, Connor Swindells, Kedar Williams-Stirling, Mimi Keene, Aimee Lou Wood, Chaneil Kular, Simone Ashley, Tanya Reynolds, Jemima Kirke, Dua Saleh, Jason Isaacs

The first two seasons of Sex Education received praise for the cast’s performances, tackling sensitive subjects and its diverse representation of the LGBTQ+ community, so a third season came as a surprise to no one, like, at all. So far, there’s no set date but it’s expected to debut on Netflix in the first quarter of 2021 like past instalments. In season three, the comedy is welcoming three new cast members. Jemima Kirke has been cast as a character called Hope, who will replace Michael Groff (Alistair Petrie) as Moordale’s new headmistress. Minnesota-based singer, songwriter and actor Dua Saleh will play Cal, a non-binary student who clashes with Hope, while Harry Potter star Jason Isaacs will join the Groff family as Peter Groff, the former headmaster’s “more successful/less modest” older brother.