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In Living Color

In Living Color

1983 ' St. Elsewhere (NBC) airs first AIDS plotline: A married, closeted gay city councilman becomes infected with HIV. 1985 ' An Early Frost (NBC) is the first TV movie about AIDS, featuring Aidan Quinn as a gay man dying of the disease. 1986 ' Dr. Bobby Caldwell (Mark Harmon), a heterosexual man, leaves St. Elsewhere when he learns he is HIV-positive. ' Hill Street Blues (NBC) is the first crime drama with an AIDS plotline. 1987 ' Mr. Belvedere (ABC) addresses pediatric AIDS. ' Tony Goldwyn plays a man dying of AIDS on Designing Women (CBS). 1988 ' Liberace: Behind the Music (CBS) addresses the flamboyant performer's death from AIDS. ' The Young and the Restless (CBS), All My Children (ABC), and Another World (NBC) all include AIDS story lines. 1989 ' On As the World Turns (CBS), gay character Hank Elliot (Brian Stracher) leaves the show to take care of his life partner, who is dying of AIDS. ' The Ryan White Story (ABC) chronicles the short life of the HIV-positive hemophiliac boy. 1990 ' Rose (Betty White) has an HIV scare on The Golden Girls (NBC). 1991 ' Emmy winner Chad Lowe plays Becca's HIV-positive boyfriend, Jesse, on Life Goes On (ABC) throughout the show's final two seasons. ' Peter (Peter Frechette) tests positive for HIV on Thirtysomething (ABC). 1992 ' Molly Ringwald plays a woman with AIDS in Something to Live For: The Alison Gertz Story (ABC). 1993 ' HBO makes a film of And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts's history of the early days of AIDS. ' Several daytime dramas launch the annual Day of Compassion. On June 21 the soap operas focus on AIDS in some way, most notably with General Hospital's (ABC) Nurses' Ball. 1994 ' Pedro Zamora lives with AIDS on The Real World (MTV). He dies November 11, after the show completes airing. ' ER debuts on NBC. The first season has eight episodes that address AIDS. ' Lee Mathis begins playing John Hanley, a gay man with AIDS on General Hospital (ABC). He stays on the show through 1996. ' On Melrose Place (Fox), gay former Navy lieutenant Jeffrey Lindley, the boyfriend of main character Matt Fielding, reveals he has tested positive for HIV antibodies. He leaves the series six episodes later. 1995 ' Gloria Reuben joins ER (NBC) as HIV-positive physician assistant Jeanie Boulet. She continues on the program through 1999. ' Stone Cates (Michael Sutton) dies of AIDS on General Hospital (ABC). His HIV-positive girlfriend, Robin Scorpio (Kimberly McCullough), leaves the show soon after. She returns occasionally in subsequent years. 1996 ' Kelly (Jennie Garth) does community service at an AIDS hospice on Beverly Hills, 90210 (Fox). ' Reed (Noelle Parker) does community service at an AIDS hospice on Sisters (NBC). 1997 ' In the Gloaming (HBO), Christopher Reeve's directorial debut, is the last of the 'coming home to die' AIDS movies. ' The USA Network airs Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story, starring Mario Lopez as the HIV-positive Olympic champion. ' HBO's Oz runs through 2003, frequently depicting HIV issues facing prisoners. 2000 ' Queer as Folk debuts on Showtime, regularly addressing HIV through its three recurring HIV-positive characters and other story lines. ' Samantha (Kim Cattrall) gets an HIV antibody test on Sex and the City (HBO). 2001 ' Paulo Benedeti appears as HIV-positive Antonio Dominguez for one season of The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS). ' David (Michael C. Hall) has unprotected sex, then nervously takes an HIV antibody test, on Six Feet Under (HBO). 2002 ' Republican lawmakers warn PBS not to allow the South African Sesame Street HIV-positive character, Kami, to appear in the U.S. version of the children's program. 2003 ' Viacom and Kaiser Family Foundation launch their ongoing 'Know HIV/AIDS' campaign, which includes the appearance of several HIV-positive characters and story lines on programs on Viacom's Showtime, Nickelodeon, MTV, VH1, BET, UPN, and CBS networks. ' HBO airs a six-hour adaptation of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize'winning play, Angels in America. ' The Reagans (Showtime) controversially portrays the former president as dismissive of AIDS. ' Marcia Cross plays HIV-positive Dr. Linda Abbott on Everwood (WB). 2004 ' HIV-positive Robin Scorpio (Kimberly McCullough) returns to General Hospital (ABC) for a cameo appearance. ' Angels in America (HBO) wins 11 Emmys, the most of any show for the year, and eclipses the previous record for the number of Emmys awarded to a miniseries.
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