LGBT characters hit new heights on TV

GLAAD report finds growth across the broadcast nets

The percentage of LGBT regular characters on broadcast nets has hit an all-time high, according to GLAAD’s annual report on television diversity.

The report, titled “Where We Are In TV,” reviewed 97 scripted television programs scheduled to air this upcoming season on the broadcast nets — ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and the CW — and counted a total of 701 series regular characters. GLAAD found that 31 of those main characters are LGBT — a new record — with another 19 recurring characters.

ABC led the pack with 5.2% (10 out of 194 regular characters) of characters identified as LGBT. That was enough to usurp last year’s leader, Fox, who ranked second with 5.1% (six of 118).

Meanwhile, CW ranked third with 4.9% (four of 81) and NBC dropped in at fourth with 4.2% (seven of 166). And though CBS came in last with 2.8% (four of 142), the report still noted the net’s improvement from last year’s 0.7 percent.

Cablers showed improvement as well, with a total of 61 regular and recurring LGBT characters. Showtime came out ahead with 12 LGBT characters total, with other significant contributions from HBO (9 characters), FX (8), Adult Swim (5) and ABC Family, MTV, Syfy and TeenNick (4 characters each). HBO’s “True Blood” earned special kudos, featuring six LGBT characters — the highest representation in a single show.

The report also analyzed the race/ethnicity and gender demographics of all 701 series regular characters on primetime broadcast television in the upcoming season. Most notably, black representation increased from 9.9% to 12% (84 total characters) while Latino representation dropped slightly from 5.6% to 4.1% (29 total). And overall, male characters far outweigh female characters (55.5% vs. 44.5%).

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