CBS‘ Partners had better hit primetime quick, because the most watched network has returned to a “Failing” grade in GLAAD’s annual Network Responsibility Index (NRI), which measures the quantity and quality of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) impressions being made on TV.
Among the broadcast networks, The CW — thanks in part to Top Model and The L.A. Complex, if not 90210‘s increasingly indifferent Adrianna — repeated in the No. 1 slot with 29 percent of its primetime hours featuring LGBT impressions.
ABC (at No. 2, with 27 percent) and Fox (No. 3, 24 percent) traded places this year, with the former buoyed by transgender Chaz Bono’s presence on Dancing With the Stars, as well as Modern Family, Grey’s Anatomy and Happy Endings. NBC placed fourth, improving to 19 percent because of shows like Smash and The Voice, while CBS stayed put in a distant last place, with 8 percent.
CBS, after netting an “F” two years ago, had improved to “Adequate” in GLAAD’s 2011 NRI, but this time around dipped back down, by 2 percent.
New-season fare such as CBS’ Partners, a sitcom in which Michael Urie and Brandon Routh play a gay couple, was not included in the NRI, which had an end-of-May cut-off date; as such, The Good Wife was left to account for many of the Eye’s LGBT impressions. And even kickass Kalinda can only accomplish so much.
Among cable networks, Showtime — led by the likes of Shameless and The Real L Word — placed first and came the closest of any outlet to scoring an “Excellent” grade, though even it fell short due to demerits applied due to anti-LGBT comments made by Californication and House of Lies characters.
ABC Family (Pretty Little Liars), despite dropping from an “Excellent” score to “Good,” placed second, while FX (American Horror Story, Archer) came in No. 3.
History — which was included in the study for the first time this year — and TBS were slapped with “Failing” grades. TLC, another new addition to the NRI mix, mustered an “Adequate.” (Quick, moms, force your tiara’d toddlers to get “curious”!)
Other highlights from the NRI, which can be viewed in full here:
* The CW featured the greatest racial diversity in its LGBT impressions, thanks to programs like Top Model; ABC touted the least.
* Gay men were most prominent among TV’s LGBT impressions; bisexual women fared better than lesbians.
* USA Network delivered cable’s highest percentages of black and lesbian LGBT impressions — thanks single-handedly to White Collar‘s Diana, the network’s only regular LGBT character. In total hours, though, ABC Family’s did best by lesbians, largely due to Pretty Little Liars‘ Emily.
* GLAAD pointedly noted that while The Voice has featured several openly out contestants, American Idol, even 11 seasons in, has yet to do same. That fact, says the report, “looks less and less like a coincidence.”