Longtime ‘Folk’ Fans Rosie O’Donnell and Cyndi Lauper Guest Star on the Show’s Provocative and Controversial Fifth Season
New York,   May 5, 2005 –SHOWTIME's landmark, signature dramatic series QUEER AS FOLK returns for its fifth and final season May 22 at 10pm ET/PT with a special two-hour premiere. Featuring 13 new episodes, the award-winning series continues to explore cutting-edge social and political issues that have affected the gay community since its premiere five years ago.   As provocative as ever, QUEER AS FOLK is without question the no-holds-barred show that made television history as the first hour-long weekly drama to portray the gay community with honesty and relevance. The fifth season not only showcases QUEER AS FOLK’s trademark sexuality, but also important, timely and controversial issues with a candor rarely seen on television.
“Never before in television history has there been a series so daring and historically significant to the gay community,” said Robert Greenblatt, Showtime’s President of Entertainment, “and in the current television climate, it’s unlikely that there will be another show that breaks the boundaries like QUEER AS FOLK has done.”
Starring Michelle Clunie, Robert Gant, Thea Gill, Gale Harold, Randy Harrison, Scott Lowell, Peter Paige, Hal Sparks and Sharon Gless, each hour-long episode focuses on the relationships, careers, loves and ambitions of a group of young gay men and lesbians living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Stars Rosie O’Donnell and Cyndi Lauper make special guest appearances this season to support the show.  In a three episode arc, O’Donnell plays “Loretta Pye,” a timid woman who escapes her abusive husband by taking a job at the Liberty Diner where, under Debbie Novotny’s (GLESS) guidance, Loretta discovers an inner strength and a crush on her mentor.  Lauper appears in the tenth episode of the season in which the characters hold a benefit to raise funds against “Prop 14,” an anti-gay legislation that would prohibit gays from adopting children or sharing health benefits. Lauper will also perform a new club remix of "Shine," recorded specifically for QUEER AS FOLK.
QUEER AS FOLK invites viewers to enter the world of Brian (HAROLD), Michael (SPARKS), Justin (HARRISON), Ben (GANT), Emmett (PAIGE), Ted (LOWELL), Lindsay (GILL), Melanie (CLUNIE) and Michael's eccentric mother Debbie (GLESS). It's not West Hollywood, it's not the Castro and it's not Chelsea. It may be a small gay Main Street with a couple of bars, a club, a few shops and a diner - but its reverberations are universal. In its unapologetic celebration of life in varied forms, QUEER AS FOLK has paved the way for modern gay-themed television shows.
The fifth season begins with Justin living in Hollywood indefinitely, causing Brian to turn his attention to a risky real estate investment— the gang’s favorite club, Babylon.  His club-going lifestyle becomes an issue with Michael and Ben, who are considering a life in the suburbs.  Melanie and Lindsay surprise everyone with the news of their split, and enter into an intense three-way battle with Michael over the custody of their daughter, Jenny Rebecca.  Ted fights aging with an extreme makeover, and Emmett becomes Pittsburgh's "Queer Guy" on the local news. 
QUEER AS FOLK is executive produced by Ron Cowen, Daniel Lipman and Tony Jonas. Cowen & Lipman developed the series for American television based on the British series created by Russell T Davies.  Sheila Hockin serves as producer. The SHOWTIME series is from Cowlip Productions, Tony Jonas Productions and Temple Street Productions.
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