The number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) characters on broadcast TV is again on the rise, according to a new report from The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
The group’s 14th annual TV study found that 18 LGBT characters will account for 3% of prime time scripted series regulars in the 2009-2010 broadcast TV season. That’s up from 1.3% in 2006, 1.1% in 2007 and 2.6% in 2008.
New LGBT characters include bisexual Ella on Melrose Place, Southland’s gay police officer John Cooper, Modern Family’s gay couple Mitchell and Cameron, and coming-out high schooler Kurt on Glee.
At the launch of the 2009-2010 television season, GLAAD estimates that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) scripted characters represent 3% of all scripted series regular characters on the five broadcast networks: ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox, and NBC. This is slightly more than last year, with 18 series regular characters identified as LGBT.
ABC continues to lead the networks with eight LGBT characters, or 5% of its 168 total series regulars. Fox, which had no regular LGBT characters two years ago, now has 4 characters (4%). NBC has 3 characters (3%), The CW has two (3%), but CBS had no LGBT characters out of its 132 regulars.
In contrast, the number of LGBT series regular characters found on scripted programming on mainstream cable networks has decreased even further from last year’s analysis, from 32 to 25. The presence of LGBT-focused cable networks here! and Logo, which program specifically for LGBT viewers, add additional representations. These two networks alone will provide 27 additional series regular LGBT characters, more than all of the other cable networks combined.