Where We Are on TV Report 2013


The Where We Are on TV report analyzes the diversity of primetime scripted series regulars on broadcast networks and looks at the number of LGBT characters on cable networks.

This year, GLAAD has found a decrease in the percentage of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) characters expected to appear on scripted primetime broadcast television in the coming year.

The annual Where We Are on TV report forecasts the expected presence of LGBT characters for the 2013-2014 television season.

Following a record high last season, the analysis of characters for the 2013-2014 scripted primetime broadcast television schedule found that 3.3% of series regulars will be lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans-gender characters. This is down from 4.4% in 2012, but still higher than the 2.9% recorded in 2011. Of the LGBT characters counted on broadcast networks, the gender divide is equal between men and women, showing an effort from networks to diversify storylines beyond the white gay male narrative most commonly seen on television. The number of LGBT characters on scripted primetime cable television continued to rise this year with an additional seven regular characters, for a total of 42 in the 2013-2014 season.

This season marks the 18th year GLAAD has tracked the presence of LGBT characters and the visibility of the community they portray on television by counting their numbers in scripted primetime programs on both the broadcast and cable networks. The creation of the Where We Are on TV report in 2005 has allowed GLAAD to track trends and compile statistics for series regular characters on broadcast television with regard to sexual orientation, gender identity and race/ethnicity. At the time of printing, the information found in this report is accurate, but it remains subject to change based on programming adjustments over the course of the television season. This year, the Where We Are on TV report counts characters on scripted series that started after May 31, 2013, and looks at anticipated casts for the upcoming 2013-2014 season. At the end of the 2013-2014 season, GLAAD will compile an in-depth analysis of the images presented on television in its eighth annual Network Responsibility Index (NRI).

· Out of 796 primetime broadcast scripted series regulars, 26 will be LGBT this year, or 3.3%.  This in 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 color. 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 8 characters. Of those LGBT characters, 39% are women and 29% are people of color. Only one transgender character, Adam on Degrassi, was counted though he no longer appears on the program.

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

Download the full report

GLAAD’s annual TV reports not only propel national conversations about LGBT representation but inform GLAAD’s own advocacy within the television industry.  GLAAD uses this yearly data to create a clearer picture of the stories and images being presented by television networks, and to encourage networks to include diverse LGBT representations within them. The next NRI and Where We Are on TV will be released in 2014.