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American Television, Drama  
 
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However, renowned gender theorist Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick noted that, while the show was certainly not "edgy" in its "relation to reality or political process," it was nevertheless "absurdly luxurious" in its exploration of the "portrayal of generational dynamics in this group of women, even if only between thirtysomethings and twentysomethings."

Coincident with the meteoric rise of Queer As Folk and The L Word, Viacom and MTV Networks unveiled Logo, a new channel specifically targeting queer audiences, on June 30, 2005. One of its Logo's first offerings was something previously unseen anywhere on television, whether broadcast or cable: Noah's Arc, the first predominately black gay TV show.

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Noah's Arc debuted on October 19, 2005, and followed the lives of a group of African-American gay men in Los Angeles. According to Ben Aslinger, even though critics struggled to describe the show to audiences unfamiliar with its references to African-American queer culture, the show became an unlikely hit that scored big with African-American glbtq audiences and helped put Logo on the map.

Noah's Arc was also noteworthy for not shying away from controversial topics especially relevant to African Americans such as the "down low" debate (in which straight-identified black men surreptitiously sleep with other men, thus keeping their queer sexuality "on the down low"), AIDS-related activism and education, and drag performance. Aslinger points out, however, that the show also risked reinforcing stereotypes of the hypersexual black male and the "down low" as seemingly fixed tropes of gay black identity.

Yet in spite of its almost cult-like popularity, Noah's Arc was cancelled after two seasons. In response, the black gay blogosphere erupted with comments accusing the Logo network of racism. However, as Michael Johnson Jr. observed, although the show was successful in elevating the visibility of Latino and African-American gay men, it ultimately failed to acknowledge the complex and often contradictory messages embodied in its characters and plot, particularly in terms of ethnicity, same-sex male desire, and masculinity.

Noah's Arc creator Patrik-Ian Polk, moreover, also stated to Advocate columnist Kellee Terrell, that the show's presence on Logo limited its exposure to wider audiences. Nevertheless, blogger Keith Boykin offered a positive view of Noah's Arc's potential and mourned its cancellation, writing that "if nothing else, it created the possibility in the minds of the public and the industry that [a predominantly black gay television show] is something that can happen and be supported."

 

Queering Twenty-first Century Television

Although it seems unlikely that broadcast networks will ever reach the levels of queer representational acceptance shown on Showtime's queer hit shows, perceptual changes continue to be seen on both cable and broadcast networks.

Coming-out storylines like those of Jack McPhee (Kerr Smith) on the WB's Dawson's Creek (in 1999) and Dr. Kerry Weaver (Laura Innes) on NBC's ER (in 2000) are no longer considered provocative. Similarly, queer relationship narratives such as Willow (Alyson Hannigan) getting a girlfriend on the WB's Buffy The Vampire Slayer (also in 2000) now occur regularly across network and cable platforms. Indeed, in 2001 HBO premiered the bizarre comedy Six Feet Under that prominently featured a long-term interracial gay relationship between mortuary co-owner David Fisher (Michael C. Hall) and LAPD officer Keith Charles (Mathew St. Patrick).

In May 2004 producers of another HBO television drama, The Sopranos, announced that Joseph Gannascoli, who played Vito Spatafore on the hit show, would come out as a gay mobster. Gannascoli explained that he relished the chance to play a gay character, and said that he wanted to be "effeminate but knockaround."

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