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WATCH: Alan Cumming stars as the first openly gay lead in a network drama who also happens to be a spy

'Most times we see a gay character on television, their gayness is their primary thing'

WATCH: Alan Cumming stars as the first openly gay lead in a network drama who also happens to be a spy
Alan Cumming is braving new territory. | Photo: YouTube/CBS

Believe it or not, 2018 will be the first year a network TV drama features an openly gay lead character.

Alan Cumming stars in CBS’ upcoming series, Instinct. It’s his first foray back into television in a major way since his stint on The Good Wife.

The show’s inspiration is James Patterson’s 2017 book Murder Games. It’s about Dylan Reinhart (Cumming), a CIA spy-turned-college professor. The NYPD recruits him to help track down a serial killer — and it just so happens Reinhart is married to a man.

Here’s a trailer for the series.

The show is equal parts drama, procedural, and some really great humor.

It also stars Whoopi Goldberg and Bojana Novakovic.

Cumming described Reinhart as ‘a fuddy-duddy professor, a former spy,’ as well as ‘a little on the spectrum [and] a child musical prodigy’ at the TCA winter press panel on 6 January.

The actor also praised both the network and writing for the character.

‘I applaud everyone at CBS for having the courage to put that on, in the climate that might not be the best time to do it,’ he added. Cumming specifically brought up Donald Trump, saying he’s ‘actively condoning, by his silence, violence and persecution against the LGBT community’.

Cumming, who identifies as bisexual and married his partner Grant Shaffer in 2012, said Reinhart’s sexuality is ‘the fourth or fifth most interesting thing about the character’.

‘Most times we see a gay character on television, their gayness is their primary thing,’ he said. ‘And also it’s sort of a problem.’ With Reinhart, however, ‘there are so many different layers’.

Instinct premieres on 11 March in the US.


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