The CW is the most LGBT-friendly broadcast network, while CBS lags behind its counterparts, according to GLAAD’s annual study of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender representation on television.
On the cable side, Showtime leads the way with almost half the hours of programming that GLAAD studied featuring LGBT characters in 2011-12. ABC Family is also near the top of the list, while TBS and History are at the back of the pack.
“Americans expect to see their off-screen worlds represented on screen, and today more than ever that includes LGBT people and families,” GLAAD president Herndon Graddick says. “Storylines of families like Mitchell and Cameron on ‘Modern Family’ and young people like Emily on ‘Pretty Little Liars’ are not only growing acceptance of our community, but have found praise from viewers and critics alike at a time when visibility and acceptance of LGBT people is at an all-time high.”
The CW featured LGBT people in 29 percent of the hours GLAAD tracked. It also had the most ethnically diverse representation of gay people on TV, thanks in large part to “America’s Next Top Model.” ABC, which ranked third last year, moved up to second with 27 percent of its programming being gay-inclusive.
FOX had gay characters in 24 percent of its prime-time hours (down slightly from 2010-11), while NBC was fourth with 19 percent (up from the previous season). CBS remained at the back of the pack with only 8 percent of its hours featuring gay characters and the bulk of those coming on “The Good Wife.”
Showtime led all networks, broadcast or cable, with 46 percent of its programming including LGBT characters. That would normally earn an “excellent” rating from GLAAD, but the organization says some negative portrayals of transgender characters keeps it at “good.”
You can see the full GLAAD report here.