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Alan Cumming is set to play gay lead character in new crime show

Isla Russell January 8, 2018

WESTWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Actor Alan Cumming arrives at the Premiere Of Fox Searchlight Pictures' "Battle Of The Sexes" at Regency Village Theatre on September 16, 2017 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/WireImage)

Alan Cumming is set to play a gay lead character in a US network drama as he takes on the role of Dr Dylan Reinhart in the upcoming CBS crime series, Instinct.

The series is based on James Patterson’s novel Murder Games, and will follow Cummings as an author and University professor who is asked by the NYPD to help them catch a serial killer who is using his first book as a tutorial.

The Good Wife star told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Pasadena that he was excited to play a gay character who’s sexuality wasn’t the main plot point.

“Most times, when we see gay characters on American TV, their gayness is the prime thing. Their gayness is sometimes the problem,” he said.

But when reflecting on his Instinct’s role he said: “What’s refreshing about this is there’s a successful relationship and they’re supportive of each other. And being gay is also the fourth or fifth most interesting thing about this character.”

Stars of CBS crime drama Alan Cumming and Bojana Novakovic pose during the 2018 Winter TCA Tour (Photo by Maarten de Boer/Getty Images)

Scottish/American actor Cumming’s identifies as bisexual and has had a string of relationships with both men and women, including an eight-year marriage to actress Hilary Lyon, and a two-year relationship with actress Saffron Burrows.

He now resides in Manhattan with his husband of five years Grant Shaffer.

Alan Cumming with husband Grant Shaffer at the 2017 PEN America Literary Gala at American Museum of Natural History (Photo by Monica Schipper/WireImage)

The show will air on CBS, which has been criticised in recent years for its lack of on-screen diversity, however it’s changing things up with Instinct which not only includes Cumming’s as the lead gay character but has also changed several of the leading male roles in the novel to women.

Most notably Bojana Novakovic will be playing alongside Cumming as Detective Lizzie Needha.

Alan Cumming and Bojana Novakovic star in Instinct (Photo By Jeff Neumann/CBS via Getty Images)

Speaking at the show’s TCA Winter Press Tour Panel, Cumming noted how it was incredibly courageous of CBS to make Instinct at a time where the American president is condoning violence and persecution against the LGBT community with his silence on the issue.

Having been awarded an OBE in 2009 for his work and commitment to the progression of LGBT rights in Britain and America, Cummings has been active in the fight for LGBT rights.

Alan Cumming at The Center Dinner to benefit The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/WireImage)

He has shown his support within the LGBT community by attending fundraisers for organisations such as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation (GLADD), featuring on an Equality Network video campaign promoting the legislation of same-sex marriage in Scotland, and supporting several AIDS charities including the American Foundation for AIDS Research.

Instinct will air on CBS on March 11, when Cumming’s can be seen action alongside Bojana Novakovic as the first leading gay character in a US network drama.

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