The number of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender characters on broadcast TV networks’ scripted series has more than doubled in the new season compared with last year, says the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
Such representations account for 2.6 percent of all scripted series regular characters in the 2008-2009 broadcast television schedule, up from 1.4 percent in 2005, 1.3 percent in 2006 and 1.1 percent in 2007, GLAAD said Sept. 23.
The study looked at 88 scripted comedies and dramas airing in the new season on ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and The CW. It found 16 gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender characters, compared with seven last season.
“This dramatic increase shows how far many networks have come in developing complex, multilayered lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender characters,” said GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano.
ABC is offering seven such characters this year, Fox has five, NBC has three, The CW has one and CBS has none.
The number of non-contract, recurring GLBT characters also has risen this year – from 13 to 19.
“The growing number of recurring characters is another example of the networks’ progress towards being more inclusive,” Giuliano said. “As the networks gradually add characters from all backgrounds and walks of life to primetime programming, more and more Americans are seeing their LGBT friends and neighbors reflected on the small screen.”
On mainstream cable networks, the number of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender series regular characters has dropped to 32 from last year's high of 40.
The gay networks here! and Logo have 39 series regular queer characters this year.