In December 2000 Queer as Folk debuted on Showtime, a drama that portrayed a world of gay men and lesbians - all of whom were white (just like NBC's Friends). Gay cable network LOGO remedied this exclusion by producing the drama Noah's Arc, which aired its first episode on October 19, 2005.
The show revolved around the lives of four black and Latino gay men living in Los Angeles. (Actor Darryl Stephens, left, who plays Noah, is openly gay.) It became LOGO's highest rated show, but oddly, was cancelled after two seasons and 17 episodes. (Word was that it was too expensive to produce.) Two years later a Noah's Arc movie was released in a small number of theaters (the usual fate of gay-themed films).
Regardless of whether the characters are gay or straight, the most common way to get African Americans characters written into shows is as part of an ensemble with a white cast. Recent examples of such gay African American roles include Lafayette Reynolds from True Blood (portrayed by actor Nelsan Ellis, far left); police officer Keith Charles on Six Feet Under (portrayed by Michael St. Patrick, near left), and Cameron and Mitchell's friend Longines (pronounced "lawn-ja-ness") from the ABC sitcom Modern Family.
Other posts about the LOGO cable network: