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13 Greg Berlanti Projects Every LGBTQ+ TV & Movie Fan Should Watch
These 13 Greg Berlanti projects are required viewing.
Greg Berlanti is one of the greatest producers of our time. His impact on media is immeasurable, as his shows and movies have changed culture, queer representation on TV, and given rise to some of the greatest actors of their generations.
Berlanti got his first showrunning job, on Dawson's Creek at just the age of 28 and since then, he's been absolutely unstoppable, creating shows for Warner Brothers, ABC, The CW, Lifetime, Netflix, and HBO Max, as well as several movies. A recent GLAAD Media report found that nearly one in five LGBTQ+ characters currently on TV comes from shows produced by either Ryan Murphy, Shonda Rhimes, Lena Waithe, or Berlanti, and in the 2020-2021 TV year, those four creators were responsible for 17 percent of LGBTQ+ characters on TV.
Berlanti is about to receive the prestigious Norman Lear Achievement Award at the upcoming Producers Guild Awards, so we wanted to take a look back at just some of his many impactful and memorable projects in his career so far!
1. Dawson's Creek
Berlanti started as a writer on Dawson's Creek at the age of 26, and by 28, he was an executive producer and showrunner. The show is one of the most influential teen dramas of all time, creating tropes and archetypes that are still used today and introducing the world to actors like James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson, and Michelle Williams. On the show, Berlanti included the first passionate same-sex kiss between two men on U.S. network television.
In the early 2000s, Berlanti created two shows for Warner Bros., Everwood and Jack & Bobby (which only lasted one season). Everwood aired four successful seasons on The WB, following a doctor and his teen son who move to a small Colorado town. Everwood featured future Marvel actors Emily VanCamp and Chris Pratt.
3. Brothers & Sisters
Berlanti's first project with ABC was the family drama Brothers & Sisters, starring Sally Field, Rachel Griffiths, and Calista Flockhart among others. Field won an Emmy for her role, and the show featured the first same-sex legal marriage on network television.
4. Dirty Sexy Money
Another show that Berlanti produced that broke new ground for queer representaion was Dirty Sexy Money, a stylish and high stakes ABC drama that featured Candis Cayne as the first recurring transgender character on primetime television.
In 2012, Berlanti was announced as one of the creators of a new CW show based on the DC Comic superhero Green Arrow, called Arrow. Little did we know that the show would launch the Arrowverse, which has now grown to include several spinoffs, and a HUGE number of queer characters. Arrow aired for eight seasons.
6. The Flash
Berlanti's first Arrowverse spinoff was The Flash, starring Grant Gustin. The character first appeared in an episode of Arrow's second season, and then he got his own show in 2014. The Flash was recently renewed for a ninth season.
In 2014, it was announced that Berlanti was executive producing a new show about Supergirl that would air on CBS. The show only lasted one year on that network, but then moved to The CW, where it lasted for five more seasons. Supergirl introduced a main lesbian character, Supergirl's sister Alex, and introduced Nia Nall, a.k.a., Dreamer, (played by Nicole Maines) the first trans superhero on TV.
8. DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Perhaps Berlanti's gayest show up to this point, this other Arrowverse show features characters like The Atom, Captain Cold, The White Canary, and others teaming up to travel across time saving the universe. The show features several queer heroes including Sara Lance, John Constantine, Ava Sharpe, and Ray Terrill.
Berlanti's edgy, wild take on the world of Archie Comics, Riverdale debuted on The CW in 2016 and has since been one of the most talked-about shows on TV. The show features queer characters like Kevin Keller, Cheryl Blossom, and Toni Topaz.
10. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Berlanti executive produced this Riverdale spinoff, an adaptation of the comic book of the same name by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. The show starred Kiernan Shipka as teen witch Sabrina, Ross Lynch as her human boyfriend Harvey, and Chance Perdomo as her queer warlock cousin Ambrose.
Berlanti and Sera Gamble developed this show based on the novel of the same name. It premiered on Lifetime, but has since moved to Netflix. It follows Joe Goldberg, a serial killer who falls into an obsessive love with a woman. The show recently aired its third season and was picked up for a fourth.
12. Love, Simon
In 2018, directed his most successful movie to date, Love, Simon. Adapted from the novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Love, Simon followed a closeted gay teen who is threatened with outing while trying to find out the identity of his anonymous online love interest. The film even sparked the launch of an equally gay TV series spinoff, Hulu's Love, Victor.
13. Superman & Lois
Berlanti's newest DC show, Superman & Lois, is a spinoff of Supergirl, following that hero's cousin and his wife. The show premiered in early 2021, and the second season just started streaming in January of 2022.