Exclusive AfterElton Scoop! NBC’s “Southland” includes a gay cop

One of the things we’ve frequently lamented here at AfterElton.com is that when it comes to the umpteen million cop dramas and crime procedurals dotting the broadcast television landscape, there is nary a male gay cop or detective to be found. 

Oh sure, we can be the murder victim (a drag queen or transgender person), the murderer (a closet case), or a witness (distraught partner proving the show is tolerant and diverse), but
when it comes to actually carrying a badge, we never seem to be up to the job.

Thanks to NBC’s new cop drama Southland, from ER‘s executive producer John Wells, that’s about to change when the show premieres April 9th. That’s right, someone in the photo above is gay! Learn more after the jump!

After the Southland panel during Thursday’s Television Critics Association in Los Angeles, I spoke with Ann Biderman, an executive producer on the show, who confirmed that one of the major’s characters is in fact gay, but declined to provide any further details. (Let’s just say I have a very strong suspicion and will let you know if I was right or wrong when the show airs.)

So why might the gay character be? We don’t know much about them so far, but here are the candidates!

Ben McKenzie, Tom Everett Scott

McKenzie is probably best known for his role on The O.C. while Scott most recently played gay in The Little Dog Laughed.

Michael McGrady, Michael Cudlitz

Both McGrady and Cudlitz have appeared on a number of dramas including Life, 24 and Lost, but as far as I know neither has ever played gay.

Regina King, Arija Bareikis

Both seem like nice ladies, but neither have ever played gay men, so moving on… 

Shawn Hatosy, Kevin Alejandro

Hatosy played gay in In & Out and bisexual in Borstal Boy while Alejandro is best known as Justin’s dad Santos on Ugly Betty, but also played a gay hustler on HBO’s Big Love.

Frankly, having another gay cop/detective on one of these shows is wa-a-a-y overdue. There have been a few over the years — LAPD Officer Julien Lowe (Michael Jace) on FX’s The Shield and bisexual Detective Tim Bayliss (Kyle Secor) on Homicide Life on the Street. Jace was a relatively minor character and the gay-aspect of his storyline came and went fairly quickly. As for Bayliss, he was out as being bisexual and even went on a date with a man, but his bisexuality wasn’t exactly a frequent topic of discussion.

Here is hoping the gay character on Southland is more Kevin (Nicolas Gob) from France’s Les Bleus and less Kerwin (John Hurt) in the film Partners

So who do you think the gay cop might be? And who do you want it to be? 

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