HOLLYWOOD, October 5, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Never before have there been so many homosexual characters portrayed on broadcast and cable television, according to the latest report from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
The 17th annual Where We Are On TV report found that LGBT characters account for 4.4 percent of scripted series regulars in the 2012-2013 broadcast television schedule. This is up from 2.9 percent in 2011, 3.9 percent in 2010, 3 percent in 2009, 2.6 percent in 2008 and 1.1 percent in 2007.
GLAAD’s study reviewed 97 scripted television programs scheduled to air this upcoming season on broadcast networks, and counted a total of 701 series regular characters. Thirty-one of those are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT), as are an additional 19 recurring characters.
ABC has the highest amount with 5.2 percent (10 out of 194) of their regular characters identifying as LGBT. After leading last year, Fox is in second with six LGBT characters out of 118 total series regulars (5.1 percent). However, Fox’s Glee is the broadcast television show with the most number of regular and recurring homosexual characters, with six.
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GLAAD also said that CBS “improved” and will feature four LGBT characters out of 142 series regulars (2.8 percent), up from 0.7 percent last year. The increase came after GLAAD lambasted the network in a 2010 report, prompting CBS President Nina Tassler to apologize and pledge to “do better.”
On mainstream cable networks, the number of announced LGBT series regular characters has also increased to 35, and will also feature 26 recurring characters for a total of 61 LGBT characters.
This year Showtime features the greatest number of LGBT characters on cable with 12, seven of which are series regulars. Once again this year True Blood is the show on cable television with the most number of LGBT characters, with six of them.
“It is vital for networks to weave complex and diverse storylines of LGBT people in the different programs they air,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “When young LGBT people see loving couples like Callie and Arizona on Grey’s Anatomy or Degrassi‘s confident transgender high school student Adam Torres, they find characters they can look up to and slowly start building the courage to live authentically.”