Fox, ABC, ABC Family Top Study on LGBT Inclusion; NBC Has Fewest LGBT Characters

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GLAAD Repory Gay Lesbian TV CharactersGLAAD, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization, has released its annual Network Responsibility Index, where ABC, Fox and ABC Family demonstrated the greatest amount of LGBT-inclusive content for the TV season gone by.

And for the first time, GLAAD simultaneously released its annual “Where We Are on TV” report aka a head count on LGBT characters for the new TV season. In that study, CBS — thanks in part to Under the Dome and Two and a Half Men‘s new addition — shook off its long-held last place status, ceding the dishonor to NBC.

ACCORDING TO THE NRI REPORT, Fox was No. 1, with 42 percent of its primetime programming hours in the 2012-13 TV season having included LGBT images. That’s up sharply from its previous performance and earned a Good rating.

No broadcast or cable outlets this year earned an Excellent rating.

ABC, placing No. 2 among broadcasters with 33 percent inclusion, earned a Good rating, as did The CW, NBC, MTV and Showtime. Of the cable networks, ABC Family led with 50 percent inclusion (Good), followed by FX’s 40 percent (Adequate). Others getting Adequate grades were CBS, HBO, TLC, TNT and USA Network.

The History channel, with zero percent inclusion, was slapped with a Failing grade. The full report can be found here.

THE “WHERE WE ARE ON TV” REPORT tallies the number of LGBT characters on TV for the new season, and this year 3.3 percent of series-regular characters — or 26 out of 796 — are LGBT, down from last season’s all-time high of 4.4 percent (but up from the 2011-12 TV season’s 2.9 percent).

In addition, 20 recurring characters are LGBT (versus last season’s 25).

ABC — buoyed by the likes of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Modern Family, Nashville, Back in the Game and Suburgatory — and Fox (Bones, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Glee) were this year’s only gainers and tied for the highest percentage (5.4) of LGBT characters. The CW followed with 3 percent, CBS climbed out of the cellar with 1.9 percent, while NBC placed last with 1 percent.

Cable networks combined for 42 LGBT regular characters (up from last year’s 35), plus 24 recurring. HBO led that pack (with 10 LGBT characters), followed by Showtime’s eight. The full report can be found here.



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Comments (71)

  • The CW has LGBT characters?!
    What TV show I’m not watchin’ from that network that has LGBT characters?

    Comment by ElgaN – October 11, 2013 03:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • This!!! I was wondering the same thing :-?

      Comment by jeremy.hudson – October 11, 2013 03:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I could be wrong but i do think It’s about ‘the Carrie diaries’

      Comment by choochoo – October 11, 2013 03:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Ummm…
      Gossip Girl had Eric, though he only appeared in the series finale
      90210 had Teddy and his husband, though they only appeared in a handful of episodes
      The Carrie Diaries has Walt
      Top Model has two gay mentors/judges and gay/transgender contestant/s
      Emily Owens had a lesbian character
      The Vampire Diaries had Rebekah kiss a girl in the season five premier
      …I think those are all of them. I could be missing some. I don’t watch Supernatural, Arrow, BatB, Cult.

      Comment by A – October 11, 2013 03:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • THE “WHERE WE ARE ON TV” REPORT is for the current TV season. The CW’s LGBT characters include two on CARRIE DIARIES (including Samantha Jones) and one on the midseason series SEED (acquired from Canada).

        Comment by Matt Webb Mitovich – October 11, 2013 03:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • So the CW has a show called “Seed” and also an online network called “CW Seed”? (which has “Husbands” -a show all about a gay married couple).

          Comment by Jellymoff – October 11, 2013 06:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • There’s Charlie on Supernatural. She’s a recurring character who is a lesbian.

      Comment by Wilson – October 11, 2013 03:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • According to the full report on the Glaad page it’s “The Carrie Diaries” and “Seed” which I have never heard of before.

      Comment by Jasminion (@ajunkieabroad) – October 11, 2013 03:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Seed actually has a lesbian couple.

        Comment by Priyam – October 11, 2013 04:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Seed shouldn’t totally count since its not a CW show. That’s kind of like them airing a re-run of Will and Grace and saying “that counts”

        Comment by dude – October 11, 2013 07:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • You’re comparing a current show to syndicated reruns. Just because it’s not produced by WB or CBS doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be allowed to count it.

          Comment by kavyn – October 11, 2013 09:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • amen

      Comment by Sharon Robinson – October 11, 2013 06:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Do guest appearances count. That Charlie girl who’s on Supernatural sometimes is a lesbian character

      Comment by Chad Cronin (@ChadCronin) – October 12, 2013 10:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The number of aliens on TV is even lower. There’s the Neighbors and I think that’s it. Tsk, tsk. :P

    Comment by Michael Sacal – October 11, 2013 03:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Falling Skies.

      Comment by Matthew – October 11, 2013 08:46 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • and Defiance. I was making a joke :)

        Comment by Michael Sacal – October 11, 2013 08:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • And Under the Dome. I guess. Maybe. Somehow.

          Comment by bend22 – October 11, 2013 11:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • I still have my doubts about that. I do believe that the people who sent the dome are from the future and they sent the dome to save the town from an apocalypse. They could be the descendants of the town’s people, which is why they are so protective of some of them.

            Comment by Michael Sacal – October 11, 2013 11:01 AM PDT  
  • And NBC has Sean Hayes and that one chic on Chicago Fire. Pretty sad NBC just like your shows.

    Comment by Eric – October 11, 2013 04:32 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • And the number of gays on tv is relevant, how? While we are at its. Let’s count the number of women, or men, or children

      Comment by azu – October 11, 2013 03:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • “Of the cable networks, ABC Family led with 50 percent inclusion (Good),” – Wait…50% inclusion only gets you a “Good” rating?!? Uh let’s try and be a little realistic here people. That’s down right awesome!

    Comment by Aimee – October 11, 2013 04:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Every show should have at least one gay character, since gay people make up about 8% of the population. Assuming that each show has about 8 main or heavily recurring characters.

      Comment by bar – October 11, 2013 05:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I agree with the need to have gay character represented on TV, but 8% is not 1 out of 8 (that would be 12,5%)… If you want to make a point with numbers, it’s better to do the math right… Or else it will backfire…

        Comment by Slowride – October 11, 2013 06:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • How about they have 0 LGBT characters, that would make it soo much better!

          Comment by Ewww Gays – October 11, 2013 07:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • The good thing with opponents like that is that it’s easy to look smart even with wrong numbers.

            Comment by Slowride – October 11, 2013 07:27 AM PDT  
      • Try 4-5% of the population, at most. 1-2% of women, 2-3% of men. No need to use fake numbers.

        Comment by ajintexas – October 11, 2013 08:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think reports like this can be sort of harmful in way. I’m all for inclusion obviously, but I don’t want characters added just so a tv show can top this list – if that makes sense. I want LGBT characters to continue to be written into shows, but I want the characters to have quality – like Carrie Diaries where they are literally writing one of the most poignant coming out stories I’ve ever seen or Chicago Fire where Shay being a lesbian just isn’t a huge deal. Glee obviously leads in number but I wouldn’t call all their LGBT characters quality ones.

    Comment by Amanda – October 11, 2013 05:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • CBS has gay characters? Where?

    The CW only has barely there, blink and you’ll miss type of LGBT characters. Even Walt on Carrie Diaries was treated below everyone else there.

    Out of 6 LGBT Characters on Fox, 5 of them are on Glee.

    Le sigh….

    Comment by nico – October 11, 2013 05:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • CBS: the two mothers on “In the Dome” and Charlie’s daughter on “Two and a half Men.”

      Comment by dan – October 11, 2013 05:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Well I didn’t know….those two were never intimate.

        Comment by nico – October 11, 2013 07:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • One of them died in one of the first episodes so that’s quite an easy way out.

          Comment by EJ386 – October 11, 2013 08:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Alice was around at least half the season and they had an established, long-term relationship. I don’t think they took the easy way out with her character.

            Comment by Katherine215 – October 11, 2013 11:00 AM PDT  
    • CBS: James, Barney’s brother on How I Met Your Mother.

      Comment by Enzopodo – October 11, 2013 06:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • How could Fox possibly be better than ABC???
    ABC has two on Grey’s, two on Modern Family, one recurring on The Middle, pretty sure at least one on Revenge, one on Nashville, two on Scandal, one on Suburgatory (though I think I read the Asian counselor was let go? Can’t remember), and those are just on the shows I watch!
    Fox has, yes, like four on Glee (I don’t watch anymore so I’m not exactly sure the number?), one on BNN and I’m sure a few more on show I don’t watch.
    But as a whole, ABC has a much better spread of gay and lesbian characters, probably averaging close to one per primetime show. That’s impressive

    Comment by bar – October 11, 2013 05:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • At the moment, Glee has six LGBT characters.

      How is a better spread more impressive? I’d hardly say a token gay in every other show is better than a show which portrays gay and lesbian relationships as well as trans* people.

      Comment by BB – October 11, 2013 05:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Glee glorifies emotional abuse, though, especially with its gay relationship, Klaine.

        Comment by Marco – October 11, 2013 08:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Who is the gay character on “Bones”? I cannot figure this out for the life of me!!

    Comment by Jo – October 11, 2013 05:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Angela is Bi, guess that counts.

      Comment by ajintexas – October 11, 2013 05:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Lol me too. Angela? But she is married to Hoggins. Maybe her ex-girlfriend? That was long time ago though.

      Comment by Shaun – October 11, 2013 05:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • She’s still bisexual even though she’s married to a man.

        Comment by madhatter360 – October 11, 2013 06:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Once we get over this idea that the mere existence of queer characters counts as representation, we’ll be moving forward again. Quality counts more than quantity. When quantity is the concern, you get crap like Glee with gay characters that are mostly horrible, or the utter caricatures on Modern Family. I’m relatively effeminate myself, this is not a “omg tv only represents screaming queens” rant, I just want characters who are gay rather than “gay characters.”

    Comment by Mark – October 11, 2013 05:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • No undocumented homosexual Latinos in either of these shows. We still have no representation in the media. Same could be as said about our Asain counterparts. Glad white people can rejoice though…

    Comment by Alexis – October 11, 2013 05:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • ABC Family’s The Fosters has undocumented Latinos and homosexual characters though, if that helps. Although the undocumented Latinos aren’t homosexual themselves. Perhaps they’re daughter (who is also undocumented) may be bi! Who knows. Worth watching either way.

      Comment by Jane – October 11, 2013 06:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • undocumented latino homosexuals? Being a bit specific here aren’t we? Also undocumented = illegal no matter how much you try to make it sound like it’s not.

      Comment by ajintexas – October 11, 2013 08:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • How many shows feature multiple partner marriages/committed relationships?
    None?
    I guess ‘equality’ only stretches so far.

    Comment by EinC – October 11, 2013 06:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Is this study only for primetime shows? Or do Will and Sonny from Days of our Lives not count for some reason? If they had included them NBC wouldn’t have been last

    Comment by Artlight – October 11, 2013 06:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Larger representation is great but like most of you on here I’m more concerned with the quality of that representation. So far ABC Family wins in that department. The Fosters is a great show and the relationship between Stef and Lena is written so well.

    Comment by Allison – October 11, 2013 06:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Something I’ve noticed is that the majority of the same sex characters are women, unless I’m just watching the wrong shows. I feel that the networks still tend to shy away from gay men in relationships onscreen.

    Comment by wrstlgirl – October 11, 2013 06:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Thats because the world as a whole is still hypocritical about homosexuality. Two girls makin out is considered hot, whether they are gay or not. But two guys makin out is considered disgusting and shouldnt be done.

      Comment by Lynne – October 11, 2013 07:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Actually, per the report, there’s an equal gender split this TV season.

      Comment by Matt Webb Mitovich – October 11, 2013 09:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Can anybody tell me who the gay character is on Nashville?

    Comment by Kissan – October 11, 2013 07:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Will Lexington

      Comment by wrstlgirl – October 11, 2013 07:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have a really big problem with this report. Networks, when selecting pilots, must now contend with sexuality as a component in deciding whether or not the show has merit. Isn’t this EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of the human rights movement, where it’s not your sexual orientation, but your soull -the person you are, that matters?

    Comment by Sarah – October 11, 2013 07:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Tell that to NOM or One Million Moms…or Hollywood bigwigs.

      Comment by nico – October 11, 2013 07:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • “pretty little lairs”
    “was one of the best show that i have seen i clearly would rate this show #1 world wide”

    Comment by karla valera – October 11, 2013 07:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • And in real news….WHO CARES!? If your choices for how you want to live must be validated by the numbers of characters on a screen or your level of acceptance is determined by how many similar types of lifestyles are portrayed in Hollywood, then perhaps a true check of your choices are needed.

    This is not news… just another chance at trying to trumpet how great our world is that we have LGBT characters on TV because that must mean that we freely accept that lifestyle!! Let’s trumpet how many kids with disabilities are on TV, or how many singles moms are portrayed or how many true wounded vets are portrayed…. you know something of real substance instead of trying to make others okay with their choices based on how many people agree with them.

    Comment by WO – October 11, 2013 08:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Could you kindly explain why GLAAD releasing a report has anything to do with other groups NOT releasing reports on the inclusion of the people they represent?

      I’m not expecting a serious or well thought out answer, but I figured I would ask.

      Comment by Brooke – October 11, 2013 08:46 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • AGREED. Nicely said!

      Comment by Bob – October 11, 2013 08:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Good points wo!

      Comment by Jean – October 11, 2013 08:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It’s not a choice! You ignorant imbecile! My son didn’t choose to be tormented, humiliated, called names and even beaten of who he is. If he had a choice, trust me, he would be straight. That would be much much easier. He was born gay and I love him unconditionally. People like you make me sick to my stomach.

      Comment by Lilliana – October 11, 2013 09:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • He may very well have been, but there is no scientific proof that this is the case. It’s still the nature vs. nurture argument. Either he was born that way or the way he was raised made him that way. There has never been any proof that one or the other is the reason and no “gay gene” has ever been identified in the human genome even though people who have no clue about science will swear it has been.

        Comment by ajintexas – October 11, 2013 11:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • So…. a perfect God who created everything perfect before the Fall of Adam and Eve would create a being who completely contradicts His perfect character? Claiming the “born this way” argument is an easy to shift accountability to others instead of reflecting on the consequences of choices being made. I am not advocating the humiliation and torment… however, I do think the accountability lies with the ones who did the tormenting and with your child who made the decision to be gay in the first place. The bottom line is that the big push by the LGBT against Hollywood and society in general is for reason and reason only… to create or force pseudo-acceptance to mask their insecurity in their decisions. It is how they try to warrant value in the decisions they have made. I have a gay sister and I tell her and my mother the same thing. Stop trying to force me to accept the way you want to live… either grow some security or take a hard look in the mirror and ask yourself why you have to struggle so hard to validate your choices.

        Comment by WO – October 12, 2013 08:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • One more thing… so you are basically saying that your son would NEVER make a decision that would cause his physical or emotional pain? That type of ignorant parenting is what blinds parents to the real dangers their kids face…. themselves… We all make decisions that cause pain and grief to ourselves and others… but they are decisions of free will.

        Comment by WO – October 12, 2013 08:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • It actually is a choice. Your child chose to be gay, which is his mistake. Have fun loving a gay failure of a child.

        Comment by Ewww Gays – October 12, 2013 07:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ridiculous.

    Comment by cas – October 11, 2013 08:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The one thing that was weird with this was that the History Channel had a failing grade. I thought that channel created and showed documentaries. Why would it count in this report? And if they are included what about food network, discovery science, etc.?

    Comment by leigh – October 11, 2013 10:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think they have some original programming (Vikings comes to mind).

      Comment by Katherine215 – October 11, 2013 11:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It’s stupid History Channel is included because they did one religious miniseries and one scripted series, are they wanting openly gay Vikings? WTF?

    Anyway I’m a gay man but I find these GLAAD reports and GLAAD itself a bit ridiculous.

    Comment by Cory – October 11, 2013 11:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • since you’re gay, you probably know that there is such a thing as gay history. the history channel completely ignores LGBT history, and it’s pretty obvious that learning the LGBT history can be empowering for LGBT people.

      Comment by unicornwasp – October 11, 2013 03:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This is silly. Are you going to count how many tv characters are black too? Someone people are gay-what’s the big deal? It’s natural to encounter gay people in real life and tv-this is alienating and unnecessary.

    Comment by claire – October 12, 2013 03:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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