GLAAD certainly has something to be glad about. The organization released its 17th annual “Where We Are on TV” report Friday and announced that the number of gay and bisexual characters included in scripted television shows is higher than it’s ever been. In addition, the total number on cable television is going up as well.
Overall, the study reviewed 97 scripted television shows and learned that 4.4 percent of actors appearing regularly on these series in the upcoming 2012-13 season will portray gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual characters. That’s a big increase since 2011, which was only at 2.9 percent.
Last year it was FOX that reigned supreme, but this year ABC had the highest amount of LGBT characters. Ten out of the network’s 194 scripted characters — or 5.2 percent — identified as LGBT this year. FOX comes in second with six of its 118 regular characters — or 5.1 percent — identifying as LGBT.
On cable, Showtime has 12 LGBT characters, HBO has nine, FX has eight and Adult Swim has five. GLAAD reports Teen Nick is the only show on cable to have a regular transgender character: Degrassi‘s Adam. GLAAD has already released a study saying The CW and Showtime are the two most gay-inclusive networks.
“This year’s increase of LGBT characters on television reflects a cultural change in the way gay and lesbian people are seen in our society,” says GLAAD President Herndon Graddick in a statement. “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.”