Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Gay Wedding Bells for ABC? Set in Massachusetts, the Sitcom It's All Relative Could Be Network TV's First Series with Legally Married Gay Characters-If the Network Pops the Question

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Gay Wedding Bells for ABC? Set in Massachusetts, the Sitcom It's All Relative Could Be Network TV's First Series with Legally Married Gay Characters-If the Network Pops the Question

Article excerpt

It's too early to say whether ABC's Boston-set sitcom It's All Relative--in which the daughter of an upscale gay male couple falls in love with the son of a working-class straight couple--will be renewed for a second season this fall. But it isn't escaping anyone's notice at the network or on the production staff that the Massachusetts ruling on gay marriage opens the possibility of wedding bells between Simon (Christopher Siebert) and Philip (John Benjamin Hickey).

"It' we're being honest about the characters, this is going to come up," says ABC senior vice president of current Programs Lance Taylor. "We won't avoid it. There is not a negative connotation to it. It's more to do with what's honest to the characters. I have to believe it's going to occur to these guys."

"The ruling allows us next season--if there is a next season--to capitalize on the fact that we are in Boston and have a committed gay couple on the show," says executive producer Craig Zadan of Storyline Entertainment, which also produced last year's controversial The Reagans ministries and is preparing a two-hour TV film for Showtime on gay major-league baseball player Billy Bean.

"Even prior to the decision, we had discussed them getting married," adds Neil Meron, Zadan's partner in Storyline and also an executive producer. "It was never planned when we set It's All Relative in Boston, but it's fortuitous that we happened to be at the right time in the right place."

Taylor points out that gay marriage has already come up in the first season: In the episode Philip and the straight father, Mace, support the same political candidate for different reasons--in Philip's case, because he is in favor of gay marriage. …

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