A History of LGBT+ Representation on Television

by Werepenguin_Productions | created - 2 months ago | updated - 2 months ago | Public

This list contains episodes of television shows in the order they aired that touched on LGBT+ topics, had LGBT+ characters, or used LGBT+ tropes/plot devices. This list includes negative*, inaccurate*, positive, and accurate portrayals of LGBT folks.

*Werepenguin Productions is a queer created, queer positive organization and finds many of these portrayals appalling.

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1. I Love Lucy (1951–1957)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

A daffy woman constantly strives to become a star along with her bandleader husband and gets herself in the strangest situations.

Stars: Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, William Frawley

Votes: 21,232

Episode "Lucy Thinks Ricky is Trying to Murder Her"

Episode: Homosexuals and the Problems They Present

Episode: Homosexuals Who Stalk and Molest Our Children

5. The Open Mind (1956– )

30 min | Talk-Show

The Open Mind is a thoughtful excursion into the world of ideas across politics, media, technology, the arts and all realms of civic life.

Stars: Alexander Heffner, Richard Heffner, Eugene McCarthy, Arthur Schlesinger Jr.

Votes: 20

Episode: Introduction to the Problem of Homosexuality

6. The Open Mind (1956– )

30 min | Talk-Show

The Open Mind is a thoughtful excursion into the world of ideas across politics, media, technology, the arts and all realms of civic life.

Stars: Alexander Heffner, Richard Heffner, Eugene McCarthy, Arthur Schlesinger Jr.

Votes: 20

Episode: Homosexuality A Psychological Approach

7. The Open Mind (1956– )

30 min | Talk-Show

The Open Mind is a thoughtful excursion into the world of ideas across politics, media, technology, the arts and all realms of civic life.

Stars: Alexander Heffner, Richard Heffner, Eugene McCarthy, Arthur Schlesinger Jr.

Votes: 20

Episode: Male and Female in American Society

8. The Asphalt Jungle (1961)

60 min | Crime, Drama

Captain Gus Hornochek and Sergeant Danny Keller are members of a special force dedicated to eliminating criminal elements. Taking place in an unnamed Midwestern city, the two officers report to Commissioner Matt Gower.

Stars: Jack Warden, Arch Johnson, William Smith, Dallas Mitchell

Votes: 52

Episode: The Sniper

Episode Content 1962 Daughters of Bilitis

10. The Eleventh Hour (1962–1964)

60 min | Drama

There were only two seasons of this show. Both featured Jack Ging as Dr. Paul Graham, a passionate and caring young psychologist, working under the ægis of elder psychiatrists - first ... See full summary »

Stars: Jack Ging, Wendell Corey, Ralph Bellamy, Irene Martin

Votes: 76

Episode: What Did She Mean By Good Luck

11. Channing (1963–1964)

60 min | Drama

Professor Joe Howe is a Korean War veteran who is hired to teach English at Channing College. The dean Fred Baker is his mentor as Howe is writing a novel about his experiences. They are frequently involved in the student's lives.

Stars: Henry Jones, Jason Evers, Tyler McVey, Ed Nelson

Votes: 29

Episode: The Last Testament of Buddy Crown

12. The Les Crane Show (1964–1965)

90 min | Talk-Show

The Les Crane Show, was a late-night talk show up against Johnny Carson of The Tonight Show. Les Crane was known as the bad boy of late night, bringing together controversial guests with ... See full summary »

Stars: Les Crane, Marta Curro, Orson Bean, Alexander King

Episode Description: Randy Wicker Interview

13. Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962)

TV-14 | 25 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

Series of unrelated short stories covering elements of crime, horror, drama, and comedy about people of different backgrounds committing murders, suicides, thefts, and other sorts of crime caused by certain motivations, perceived or not.

Stars: Alfred Hitchcock, Harry Tyler, John Williams, Patricia Hitchcock

Votes: 13,914

Episode: An Unlocked Window

Episode: The Homosexuals

16. N.Y.P.D. (1967–1969)

30 min | Crime, Drama

The three detectives fight every kind of criminal all over New York City. The show featured many actual New York City locations, as well as episodes based on real New York City police cases.

Stars: Jack Warden, Robert Hooks, Frank Converse, Ted Beniades

Votes: 227

Episode: Shakedown

17. The Joe Pyne Show (1965–1968)

60 min | Talk-Show

Joe Pyne was a talk-show host with a confrontational style who often had guests on his show with whom he disagreed politically and/or philosophically. If the "discussion" got too heated, Pyne would often throw the guest off the show.

Stars: Otto Preminger, Joe Pyne, Robert Vaughn, Cornel Wilde

Votes: 15

Episode Description: Harry Hay and John Burnside Interview

18. My Three Sons (1960–1972)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

Widower Steve Douglas raises three sons with the help of his father-in-law, and is later aided by the boys' great-uncle. An adopted son, a stepdaughter, wives, and another generation of sons join the loving family in later seasons.

Stars: Fred MacMurray, Stanley Livingston, Don Grady, Barry Livingston

Votes: 2,857

Episode: The Chameleon

19. CBS Playhouse (1967– )

90 min | Drama

An anthology series of well regarded screenplays. Presenting twelve shows over it's run it showcased many up and coming actors and garnered it's share of Emmy nominations.

Stars: Jason Wingreen, Paulene Myers, Mildred Trares, Melvyn Douglas

Votes: 26

Episode: Secrets

20. Judd for the Defense (1967–1969)

60 min | Crime, Drama

High-priced Houston lawyer Clinton Judd, and his assistant Ben Caldwell, take cases throughout the U.S. The program dealt with then-taboo subjects.

Stars: Carl Betz, Stephen Young, Walter Brooke, John Dehner

Votes: 169

Episode: Weep The Hunter Home

21. The Bold Ones: The Lawyers (1969–1972)

60 min | Drama

Walter Nichols, an older and experienced lawyer, serves as a mentor to two attorney brothers. Brian is the more cerebral sibling, better at research. The younger Neil is impulsive and prone... See full summary »

Stars: Burl Ives, Joseph Campanella, James Farentino, John Milford

Votes: 73

Episodes: Shriek of Silence

22. N.Y.P.D. (1967–1969)

30 min | Crime, Drama

The three detectives fight every kind of criminal all over New York City. The show featured many actual New York City locations, as well as episodes based on real New York City police cases.

Stars: Jack Warden, Robert Hooks, Frank Converse, Ted Beniades

Votes: 227

Episode: Everybody Loved Him

23. The Dick Cavett Show (1968–1986)

90 min | Music, Talk-Show

This particular series combines several "The Dick Cavett Show" on ABC: ABC This Morning/The Dick Cavett Show ABC Daytime March 1968 - January 1969 The Dick Cavett Show ABC Primetime May 1969 - September 1969 The Dick Cavett Show ABC Late Night December 1969 - January 1975 The Dick Cavett Show ABC Late Night September - December 1986

Stars: Dick Cavett, Bobby Rosengarden, Fred Foy, Mort Sahl

Votes: 564

Episode: Nov. 26

24. Medical Center (1969–1976)

60 min | Drama

Located in the Los Angeles area, Medical Center was an otherwise unnamed hospital complex that was part of a large university campus. Dr. Paul Lochner was the chief of staff, an experienced... See full summary »

Stars: James Daly, Chad Everett, Chris Hutson, Virginia Hawkins

Votes: 567

Episode: Undercurrent

25. All in the Family (1971–1979)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Drama

A working class man constantly squabbles with his family over the important issues of the day.

Stars: Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner, Sally Struthers

Votes: 13,295

Episode: Judging Books by Covers

26. Dan August (1970–1971)

60 min | Crime, Drama

Detective August works the crime beat in his home town, Santa Luisa CA, working with (and against) people with whom he grew up.

Stars: Burt Reynolds, Norman Fell, Richard Anderson, Ned Romero

Votes: 217

Episode: Dead Witness to a Killing

Episode: Lesbians and Society

28. Room 222 (1969–1974)

30 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

Black teacher Pete Dixon tries to teach the students at Walt Whitman High to be tolerant. He's assisted by girlfriend and school counselor, Liz and student teacher (later teacher) Alice. The students love him.

Stars: Lloyd Haynes, Denise Nicholas, Michael Constantine, Karen Valentine

Votes: 774

Episode: What is a Man?

29. Vanished (1971)

196 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Government agencies investigate the mysterious disappearance of a powerful Presidential adviser.

Stars: Richard Widmark, Skye Aubrey, Tom Bosley, James Farentino

Votes: 95

Part 1 & Part 2

30. The Corner Bar (1972–1973)

30 min | Comedy

The life and times of the patrons of Grants Toomb, a New York tavern owned (first season) by Harry Grant and (second season) by Mae and Frank. Working there are Joe the black cook, Meyer ... See full summary »

Stars: Shimen Ruskin, J.J. Barry, Bill Fiore, Gabriel Dell

Votes: 37

Multi-episode character Peter Panama

31. The Bold Ones: The New Doctors (1969–1973)

60 min | Drama

The cases of well-respected neurosurgeon Dr. David Craig and his two young charges.

Stars: David Hartman, E.G. Marshall, John Saxon, Robert Walden

Votes: 100

Episode: Discovery at Fourteen

32. The Bold Ones: The New Doctors (1969–1973)

60 min | Drama

The cases of well-respected neurosurgeon Dr. David Craig and his two young charges.

Stars: David Hartman, E.G. Marshall, John Saxon, Robert Walden

Votes: 100

Episode: A Very Strange Triangle

33. Hawaii Five-O (1968–1980)

TV-PG | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

The investigations of Hawaii Five-0, an elite branch of the Hawaii State Police answerable only to the governor and headed by stalwart Steve McGarrett.

Stars: Jack Lord, James MacArthur, Kam Fong, Herman Wedemeyer

Votes: 5,344

Episode: V for Vashon: The Patriarch

34. Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law (1971–1974)

60 min | Drama

In a small California town, attorney Owen Marshall, assisted by several different younger lawyers, defends clients with great compassion for the accused.

Stars: Arthur Hill, Joan Darling, Lee Majors, Christine Matchett

Votes: 191

Episode: Words of Summer

35. Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969–1976)

TV-PG | 60 min | Drama

The show is about doctors Marcus Welby, a general practitioner and Steven Kiley, Welby's young assistant. The two try to treat people as individuals in an age of specialized medicine and ... See full summary »

Stars: Robert Young, James Brolin, Elena Verdugo, Pamela Hensley

Votes: 1,253

Episode: The Other Martin Loring

36. The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970–1977)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

The lives and trials of a young single woman and her friends, both at work and at home.

Stars: Mary Tyler Moore, Edward Asner, Gavin MacLeod, Valerie Harper

Votes: 6,435

Episode: My Brother's Keeper

37. Medical Center (1969–1976)

60 min | Drama

Located in the Los Angeles area, Medical Center was an otherwise unnamed hospital complex that was part of a large university campus. Dr. Paul Lochner was the chief of staff, an experienced... See full summary »

Stars: James Daly, Chad Everett, Chris Hutson, Virginia Hawkins

Votes: 567

Episode: Triangle

38. Sanford and Son (1972–1977)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

The misadventures of a cantankerous junk dealer and his frustrated son.

Stars: Redd Foxx, Demond Wilson, LaWanda Page, Don Bexley

Votes: 7,271

Episode: Lamont, is That You?

39. The Streets of San Francisco (1972–1977)

60 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A veteran cop with more than twenty years of experience is teamed with a young Inspector to solve crimes in San Francisco, California.

Stars: Karl Malden, Michael Douglas, Reuben Collins, Richard Hatch

Votes: 4,776

Episode: A Collection of Eagles

40. Columbo (1971–2003)

TV-PG | 100 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Los Angeles homicide detective Lieutenant Columbo uses his humble ways and ingenuous demeanor to winkle out even the most well-concealed of crimes.

Stars: Peter Falk, Mike Lally, John Finnegan, Bruce Kirby

Votes: 25,280

Episode: By Dawn's Early Light

41. Harry O (1973–1976)

60 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Harry Orwell is a world-weary private investigator who was forced to leave the San Diego Police Department after a bullet became lodged near his spine. He lived on the beach, and, when not ... See full summary »

Stars: David Janssen, Anthony Zerbe, Paul Tulley, Henry Darrow

Votes: 521

Episode: Coinage of the Realm

42. Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969–1976)

TV-PG | 60 min | Drama

The show is about doctors Marcus Welby, a general practitioner and Steven Kiley, Welby's young assistant. The two try to treat people as individuals in an age of specialized medicine and ... See full summary »

Stars: Robert Young, James Brolin, Elena Verdugo, Pamela Hensley

Votes: 1,253

Episode: The Outrage

43. M*A*S*H (1972–1983)

TV-PG | 25 min | Comedy, Drama, War

The staff of an Army hospital in the Korean War find that laughter is the best way to deal with their situation.

Stars: Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Loretta Swit, Jamie Farr

Votes: 48,374

Episode: George

44. Maude (1972–1978)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

"All In The Family" spin-off centered around Edith's cousin, Maude Findlay, a liberal, independent woman living in Tuckahoe, NY.

Stars: Bea Arthur, Bill Macy, Conrad Bain, Rue McClanahan

Votes: 3,155

Episode: Maude's New Friend

45. Police Story (1973–1987)

120 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Classic anthology series, which details the personal lives of the men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department. The stories ranged from highly dramatic to extremely funny. Even though... See full summary »

Stars: Scott Brady, Mel Scott, Don Meredith, Joe Santos

Votes: 738

Episode: The Ripper

46. Police Woman (1974–1978)

120 min | Action, Crime, Drama