entertainment

Alan Cumming makes history as first gay lead character in US TV network drama

CBS's 'Instinct' marks a major step forward for LGBT representation.

2018-03-26

Alan Cumming has made history by starring as the first gay lead character in US TV broadcast drama. 

CBS crime series Instinct premiered in the US earlier this month. Based on a James Patterson novel, it features Cumming as Dr Dylan Reinhard, a former CIA operative and university professor who ends up helping New York police after a killer starts planning crimes based on his books.

Reinhard is also gay and married, making him the first gay character to lead an hour-long US television broadcast. 

Speaking to CBS News about the show, Cumming said: "It was really this character - I wasn't, sort of, looking - I got presented with the James Patterson book.

 

"I'd never been asked to play someone who's got so many different facets, seemingly so desperate as well. All these different characteristics, as well.

"He's a fuddy-duddy professor, but he's a former sort of CIA spy. He rides a motorbike, but he's kind of a dandy."

The 53-year-old actor added: "He used to be a child musical prodigy. He's gay. It's the first-ever network drama to have a gay character as a lead." 

Cumming, who identifies as bisexual, said that that playing such a historic character was "amazing", and that he hopes the series will help familiarise same-sex relationships in America.

 

He said: "A lot of people who are watching this I'm sure will hopefully not have seen a same-sex relationship portrayed this way. I think it's about time America got used to it." 

The crime-drama, which also stars Whoopi Goldberg as Reinhard's editor, premiered on March 18 in the US and Cumming has been praised for "carrying the show". 

Instinct is set to air on UK channel Sky Living, but a premiere date is yet to be confirmed. 

Watch the trailer below: