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21 Fall TV Shows Giving Lesbian & Bi Women Screen Time

From Netflix's "Easy," to ABC's "Grey's Anatomy," here are 21 shows—new and returning—giving lesbian and bisexual women screen time this fall.

by Trish Bendix /
Kiersey Clemons and Jacqueline Toboni in Netflix series "Easy."Zac Hahn / Netflix

This fall we have more queer women characters than ever before with more representation of women of color in pivotal roles and characters that identify as lesbian, bisexual and pansexual. From network to cable to streaming, show runners, writers and producers are finding more ways to be inclusive of LGBTQ women as part of their expansive casts and, in some cases, giving them starring roles. Here are 21 shows—new and returning—that are giving gay and bi women some screen time this fall.

1. Easy

 Kiersey Clemons and Jacqueline Toboni in Netflix series "Easy." Zac Hahn / Netflix

Joe Swanberg’s series about love, sex and relationships in Chicago includes couples and throuples of all kinds, including an episode dedicated entirely to two young women (Kiersey Clemons and Jacqueline Toboni) whose courtship is dampened only by the fact that one of them thinks she has to change who she is for things to work. In another episode, Malin Akerman and Orlando Bloom seek a third party on Tinder and end up spending the night with someone they already know (Kate Micucci). Funny, sexy and queer-inclusive, "Easy" is perfect for your next Netflix and chill. (Netflix, available now)

2. Gotham

 Erin Richards as Barbara Kean on "Gotham." Nicole Rivelli / FOX

Bad girls Barbara and Tabitha are part of a love triangle (again!) on Season 3 of the series that pits super villains against antiheroes. A large ensemble show, there’s not a lot of Babs and Tab, but they do pop up every now and again to be the evil bisexual murderesses that Gotham residents love to fear. (Fox, Mondays 8/7c)

RELATED: Tatiana Maslany of 'Orphan Black' on Show's LGBTQ Storytelling

3. Mary + Jane

 Scout Durwood and Jessica Rothe on MTV series "Mary + Jane" as Jordan and Paige. MTV

Best friends Jordan and Paige are primarily focused on growing their marijuana delivery service, but when they aren’t working, their relationships (and sexual fantasies) tend to be of the sexually fluid variety. Jordan (played by out actress Scout Durwood) spent an episode being lavished with gifts as she was fought over by a heterosexual couple, only to find they were using her to spice things up at home. (MTV, Mondays 10/9c)

4. Supergirl

"Supergirl’s" move from CBS to The CW brings with a lot of new characters, including DC Comics character Maggie Sawyer. Played by Floriana Lima, out Executive Producer Ali Adler promises the show will keep Maggie as gay as she was in the books, and she’ll still be wearing that detective badge, working for the National City Police Department with a special interest in “aliens.” (CW, Mondays 8/7c)

5. Jane the Virgin

As Rose and Luisa, Bridget Regan and Yara Martinez are a couple with so much chemistry, it’s impossible to not to want them together. But seeing as how Rose married and then murdered Luisa’s father (among some of her other telenovela-worthy character traits), they may not be the perfect pair. But perfect pairings are not nearly as fun to watch, which is why their return as recurring characters for Season 3 is highly-anticipated. (CW, premieres Monday, Oct. 17 9/8c)

6. The Mindy Project

 Actress Fortune Feimster attends the Comedy Central Pre-Emmys Party at Boulevard3 on September 17, 2016 in Hollywood, California. Christopher Polk / Getty Images

Out comic Fortune Feimster joined the cast of Mindy Kaling’s comedy in Season 4, and she’s back full-time in Season 5. As Colette Kimball-Kinney, Fortune is Jody’s gay sister, Morgan’s roommate and a nurse who will hopefully get more air time as she’s now been upped to a series regular. (Hulu, Tuesdays)

7. NCIS: New Orleans

 Vanessa Ferlito as FBI Agent Tammy Gregorio and Scott Bakula as Special Agent Dwayne Pride of the CBS series "NCIS: New Orleans." Skip Bolen / CBS

Vanessa Ferlito joined the cast of the "NCIS" spin-off as an out lesbian FBI agent with a mysterious past, effectively replacing the show’s beloved Agent Brody (Zoe McLellan). Agent Tammy Gregorio made her debut on the season premiere at the end of September, and while the Pride family didn’t seem to take to her brashness right away, things seem to be softening in the near future. (CBS, Tuesdays, 10/9c)

RELATED: 'Grey's Anatomy' Star Jessica Capshaw on Arizona's Journey

8. Grey’s Anatomy

 Sara Ramirez and Jessica Capshaw in "Grey's Anatomy" episode "When It Hurts So Bad." Ron Batzdorff / ABC

Despite the show’s loss of Callie Torres this season, Jessica Capshaw is still with the show as lesbian MD Arizona Robbins. Calzona shippers can hopefully mend their broken hearts with a new romance for Ms. Robbins, as promised by the trusted powers that be. But since this is the series that doesn’t have an end in sight, there’s always hope Sara Ramirez will once again be back in Seattle to tie things up as the hospital’s OTP. (ABC, Thursdays, 8/7c)

9. American Housewife

 Carly Hughes and Alison in ABC comedy "American Housewife" epsidoe "Pilot." Adam Taylor / ABC

Broadway star Carly Hughes is black, gay and going through a divorce from her partner on ABC’s new comedy. The actress has a regular role as Angela, best friend to star Katy Mixon’s Katie, “the second fattest housewife in Westport, Connecticut.” Katie, Angela and their friends see themselves as the outcasts of a town full of overachieving Stepford wives, so naturally they use their differences as a fun way to scare off the racist homophobes attempting to move in next door. (ABC, premieres Tuesday, Oct. 11, 8:30/7:30c)

10. Queen Sugar

 Calvin (played by Greg Vaughan) and Nova Bordelon (played by Rutina Wesley) in "Queen Sugar." Skip Bolen / Courtesy of OWN

From co-creators Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey, this adaptation of Natalie Baszile’s novel tells the story of a black family trying to keep their father’s farm alive after his sudden passing while all dealing with their own struggles. Rutina Wesley is perfectly layered as Nova Bordelon, a journalist, activist and weed dealer whose bisexuality is thankfully no cause for concern to her brother and sister. (OWN, Wednesdays, 10/9c)

11. Code Black

 Melanie Chandra as Dr. Malaya Pineda in "Code Black" episode "The Fifth Stage." Jessica Brooks / CBS

As Dr. Malaya Pineda, Melanie Chandra plays one of very few queer Indian characters on television, much less network TV. In the medical drama’s first season, she lost her first love. Hopefully Season 2 will produce happier results for her both personally and professionally. (CBS, Wednesdays, 10/9c)

12. Empire

 Terrence Howard and guest star Bre-Z as Lucious Lyon and Freda Gatz in the "True Love Never" episode of "Empire." Chuck Hodes / FOX

Although Fox’s hit musical drama boasted several queer women characters in its first two seasons, they offed a pair earlier this year and made no mention of Tiana’s Season 1 girlfriend after she revealed her existence to Hakeem. Speaking of Hakeem, one of his best friends, Chicken, is a lady-lover, as is the imprisoned Freda Gatz, but we’re lucky to get glimpses of them in group scenes, much less focused storylines. (Fox, Wednesdays, 9/8c)

RELATED: Stars of TV Land's 'Younger' Share Season 3 Preview

13. Younger

 Sutton Foster and Debi Mazar in TV Land series "Younger." Courtesy of TV Land

In its third season, Debi Mazar returns to the Darren Star show as Sutton Foster’s lesbian BFF, Maggie. She had a romance with the label-less Lauren (Molly Bernard) on Season 2, but as the show is more interested in Liza (Foster) and her relationships with men, it’s hard to say if Maggie will find love before series end. (TVLand, Wednesdays, 10/9c)

14. Legends of Tomorrow

Sara Lance is one fierce bisexual woman. After being resurrected on "Arrow," the White Canary sings stronger than ever on Season 2 of the superhero supergroup. Last season had Sara spending time with a few different love interests. What’s coming up for her this time around remains to be seen, but surely she’s keeping busy saving the world. (CW, premieres Thursday, Oct. 13 8/7c)

15. Life in Pieces

 Fortune Feimster plays Dougie on CBS comedy "Life in Pieces." Neil Jacobs / CBS

Fortune Feimster proves she’s a hot commodity as she reprises her role as Dougie from Season 1 again in Season 2—only this time, she’s coming out. According to show creator Justin Adler, Heather (Betsy Brandt), Jen (Zoe Lister-Jones) and Colleen (Angelique Cabral) take the newly-minted lesbian to her first gay bar. This should be good—or so bad it’s good. (CBS, premieres Thursday, Oct. 27, 9:30/8:30c)

RELATED: Conrad Ricamora Talks 'How to Get Away With Murder'

16. How to Get Away with Murder

 ABC's "How to Get Away with Murder" stars Viola Davis as Professor Annalise Keating. Bob D'Amico / ABC

Emmy-winning star Viola Davis is a bisexual leading lady of color on one of Shondaland’s hit TGIT TV shows. Annalise Keating is as smart as she is mysterious, making her the kind of woman you both fear and fall head over heels for. Her on-again/off-again lover Eve (Famke Jannsen) will return for at least one episode in Season 3, giving queer viewers an added bonus to tune in for the pairing that never disappoints. (ABC, Thursdays, 10/9c)

17. Saturday Night Live

 Kate McKinnon arriving at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards/ Jim Smeal / BEI/Shutterstock

Who will Kate McKinnon impersonate this year? Will she bring back Bieber? Elevate her Ellen? Jazz up her Jane Lynch? The ultimate question, though: Will "Dyke and Fats" ever deliver us again? Only one way to find out. (NBC, Saturdays, 11:30/10:30c)

18. Masters of Sex

 Annaleigh Ashford as Betty in "Masters of Sex." Warren Feldman / Showtime

Annaleigh Ashford’s character, Betty, was so popular that Showtime had no choice but to keep her around. The out lesbian assistant to Dr. Masters and Virginia Johnson is still with them all these fictional years later, and now she’s got a baby with wife Helen (Sarah Silverman). Her work-life balance is about to get more interesting in Season 4, which takes place in the late ‘60s up through the early ‘70s. (Showtime, Sundays, 10/9c)

19. Shameless

 (L-R) Isidora Goreshter as Svetlana, Shanola Hampton as Veronica Fisher and Steve Howey as Kevin Ball in "Shameless." Cliff Lipson / SHOWTIME

Showtime’s family comedy is one of the queerest shows on air, and this season might be one of the queerest with the thriving polyamorous throuple of Veronica, Kevin and Svetlana alongside Ian seeing his boyfriend french kissing a woman in the season premiere. Three isn’t necessarily a crowd on this show, and sexual orientation has little to do with how anyone is treated or judged. (Showtime, Sundays, 9/8c)

RELATED: The 'Shameless' Polyamorous Throuple Next Door

20. Scream Queens

 Billie Lourd in "Scream Queens" episode "Scream Again." Michael Becker / FOX

Ryan Murphy’s all-star cast returns for a second season of the twisted horror dramedy, and pansexual Chanel #3 (Billie Lourd) has her earmuffs to the ground after reports of a new red devil have her friends mildly concerned about their lives (again). Despite last season ending with Chanel #3 finding a love interest inside the mental institution, things must have went sour, because she was never seen again. (FX, Tuesdays, 9/8c)

21. The Walking Dead

 Dr. Denise Cloyd (Merritt Wever) and Tara Chamber (Alanna Masterson) trying to save Holly (Laura Beamer) on "The Walking Dead." Gene Page / AMC

Now in its seventh season, the popular post-apocalyptic zombie takeover boasts a lesbian character in Tara Chambler (Alanna Masterson) but sadly killed off her girlfriend, Denise, with an arrow to the eye. Tara hasn’t been given her due yet on the show, but hopefully she’ll at least stay alive this year, even if she’s not given much screen time. (AMC, premieres Sunday Oct. 23, 9/8c)

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