When Alphas was cancelled last season, TV lost what I thought was a great character with autism, Gary Bell, played excellently by Ryan Cartwright. This summer, we're getting a couple of new characters on the spectrum, in shows that are less sci-fi out-there than SyFy's Alphas. On TNT's King & Maxwell, Ryan Hurst is playing a character who, according to the character's bio on the show's site, is "a high-functioning autistic savant who specializes in patterns and numerical sequences." He starts out as a murder suspect but is cleared by the show's titular detectives and becomes part of their team. The show debuted last Monday and has its second episode tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern. (You can view the pilot on the TNT site.) On July 10, FX will debut The Bridge, a show co-starring Diane Kruger as a police officer with Asperger syndrome. You can learn more about the show on its FX site, and read interviews with Kruger in which she discusses the character and the help she gets from a young man with Asperger's on the set at Just Jared, Wmagazine, UPI.com, and WrongPlanet.net. (WrongPlanet also has a forum topic about the Danish series the show is based on.)
Have you seen any characters with special needs on TV recently? Share in the comments, or use the Readers Respond pages to diagnose a TV character with autism or review a show with a disability-related plotline.