GLAAD: TV gets a little less diverse this autumn season

Michelle Clancy | 14-10-2013

GLAAD's Where We Are on TV report, which analyses the diversity of primetime scripted series regulars on US broadcast networks and looks at the number of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) characters on cable networks, has found that out of 796 primetime broadcast scripted series regulars, 26 will be LGBT this year, or 3.3%.

This is down from 4.4% last year but still up from 2.9% at the beginning of the 2011-2012 season. In addition, GLAAD found 20 recurring LGBT characters, down from 25 last year.

ABC and FOX are the only networks to show increases this year, and have the highest percentage of LGBT characters, at 5.4% each. The CW is in third place at 3%. CBS is no longer last, with 1.9% of its regular characters being LGBT, while NBC dropped from last year to 1%.

Of the 46 LGBT regular and recurring characters on broadcast networks, half are women and 28% are people of colour. While last year there weren't any regular transgender characters on broadcast television, there will be one this season with the character of Unique on Glee.

On cable, GLAAD counted 42 regular LGBT characters, up from 35 last season. An additional 24 recurring characters were counted. HBO will have the most characters with a total of 11, followed by Showtime with eight characters. Of those LGBT characters, 39% are women and 29% are people of colour. Only one transgender character, Adam on Degrassi, was counted although he no longer appears on the programme.

Of the 796 overall regular characters on broadcast prime time, the percentage of female characters has declined somewhat to 43%. People of colour will once again make up 23% of all regular characters, while just 1% will be depicted as people with disabilities.