The number of gay characters on network TV has grown slowly but steadily in the past couple of seasons, but it fell a little bit on cable for 2009-10.
Those are the results of the annual survey of scripted TV by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which for the 2009-10 season counted 18 gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender characters, out of a total of 600, on the broadcast networks this season. (That, at least, was before the cancellation of “The Beautiful Life,” which dropped the number of gay characters to 17 regulars and the overall count to 593.)
That means that about 3 percent of characters on network scripted shows are gay, up from 2.6 percent last season and 1.1 percent the year before that.
On cable, the numbers dropped slightly. There are 25 regular gay characters on cable series this season, down from 32 last year — not including scripted series on Logo and Here!, channels that focus on LGBT viewers.
Both broadcast and cable series also have a fair number of recurring gay characters, which GLAAD didn’t include in its numerical analysis but does note in its list of characters.
Take a look at Zap2it’s galleries of gay characters on TV:
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