Los Angeles, CA, September 29, 2010 – The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today released the 15th annual “Where We Are On TV” study, a comprehensive review of scripted LGBT primetime characters in the 2010-2011 television season. After more than doubling last year, the overall number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) characters on broadcast networks continues a steady rise, though broadcast networks still report no transgender or black LGBT characters.
The report shows that 23 LGBT characters will account for 3.9% of scripted series regulars in the 2010-2011 broadcast television schedule, up from 1.1% in 2007, 2.6% in 2008, and 3% in 2009. The number of scripted LGBT series regulars found on mainstream cable networks has rebounded after a two year decline, from 40 in 2007, 32 in 2008, 25 in 2009, to 35 in the upcoming season.
HBO’s True Blood is the most inclusive program currently on television, featuring six regular and recurring LGBT characters.
From research and information provided by the five broadcast networks — ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and The CW — GLAAD’s “Where We Are On TV” study reviewed 84 scripted television programs scheduled to air this upcoming season, and counted a total of 587 series regular characters, 23 of which are LGBT.
“The increase in lesbian, gay, and bisexual characters on primetime television not only reflects the shift in American culture towards greater awareness and understanding of our community, but also a new industry standard that a growing number of creators and networks are adopting,” said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. “The recent critical and commercial success of shows like Modern Family and Glee clearly indicate that mainstream audiences embrace gay characters and want to see well-crafted stories about our lives.”
In the upcoming 2010-2011 season:
- ABC continues to lead the other broadcast networks in LGBT representation, with 11 LGBT characters out of 152 total series regular characters (7.2%), the highest number and percentage of LGBT characters of any network for the 2010-2011 season.
- FOX, which in 2007 featured zero series regular LGBT characters at the launch of the season, now offers five LGBT series regulars out of 100 (5%).
- The CW continues to improve with three LGBT series regular characters out of 67 (4.5%).
- NBC becomes the only network that saw a decline from last year. The network will feature three series regular LGBT characters (2.1%) out of a total of 143.
- CBS remains in last place. Out of 125 series regular characters, only one will be LGBT (0.8%), but the network will include several LGBT recurring characters.
On mainstream cable networks, the number of announced LGBT series regular characters has rebounded to 35 after a two-year decline.
- HBO features the greatest number of LGBT characters on cable with 10, six of which are series regulars.
- ABC Family has an edge in the number of series regular LGBT characters with seven.
- Also making a significant contribution to the count are Showtime (with seven characters), Syfy (with four), TNT, FX, Starz, and Teen Nick (with three each).