25 Years of Gay for Sweeps

CJ and Abby Kiss

LA Law pretty much made being Gay for Sweeps a thing.

In the episode “He’s a Crowd,” lesbian CJ Lamb (played by Amanda Donahoe) was helping Abby Perkins (Michele Greene) work on a case. Afterwards, CJ kisses Abby, who certainly doesn’t complain though she looks incredibly awkward.

CJ and Abby Kiss

This was the first same-sex kiss on network television and, as it turned out, it was done for sweeps and nothing more.

At the time, the producers swore they wanted to give more depth to CJ, but Michele Greene said it was a stunt. From that perspective, it worked. There were some protests from the right-wing, but only around 40 people called with complaints to NBC. Instead, the show got insane amounts of attention and ratings went up.

It was the first time the Great Gay Migratory Herd flocked to a TV show.

And in the end we were all played, just like we were in 2016 by The 100. CJ was written off to join the LPGA (I’m not kidding) and Abby ended up with a man.

In 25 years, very little has changed. Being queer is still played for ratings.

About Mika A. Epstein

Mika has been deep in fandom since she could say 'Trekkie.' With decades experience in running fansites, developing software, and organizing communities, she's taken on the challenge of delving into the recesses of television for queers long forgotten. Making this site with Tracy is nothing short of serendipity. Mika lives with her wife and their cats in Southern California. Of course she has a hybrid, but she'd rather ride her bicycle.
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