The increase in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) characters on broadcast network shows reverses a decrease last year, according to a new report from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). LGBT characters will account for 4.4% of the regulars — 31 characters out of a total of 701 — in 97 scripted series on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and The CW in 2012-2013. That’s up from 2.9% last year, and 3.9% in 2010-2011. On a percentage basis, ABC leads the pack with 10 LGBT characters out of 194, according to GLAAD’s Where We Are On TV report. Fox comes next with six out of 118, followed by The CW (seven of 81), NBC (seven of 166), and CBS (four of 142). “More and more Americans have come to accept their LGBT family members, friends, coworkers, and peers, and as audiences tune into their favorite programs, they expect to see the same diversity of people they encounter in their daily lives,” says GLAAD President Herndon Graddick.
The group also found an increase in regular LGBT characters on scripted cable network shows: The total is up to 35 from 29. If you add recurring characters, the number increases to 61. Showtime will have 12 regular and recurring LGBT characters followed by HBO (9), FX (8), Adult Swim (5) and ABC Family, MTV, Syfy, and TeenNick (with 4 characters each). HBO’s True Blood has six, the most for any single show.