August 30, 2012 3:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
CBS, History, TBS Receive Failing Grade on GLAAD's Network Responsibility Index
CBS, History Channel and TBS failed to make the grade on GLAAD's annual study mapping the quantity, quality and diversity of images of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals on TV.
In its sixth annual Network Responsibility Index, watchdog organization the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation evaluated programming on five broadcast and 10 major cable networks, finding that the number of LGBT images stabilized this year as overall impressions continued to grow.
Among its broadcast network findings, the CW lead the way with 29 percent of its primetime programming hours being LGBT inclusive, also registering the most racial diversity with 62 percent of impressions made by LGBT people representing characters of color. ABC and Fox finished in second and third (up 4 percent and down 5 percent, respectively) with NBC finishing in fourth, despite a 4 percent uptick year-over-year.
CBS dropped 2 percentage points compared with 2011 and slid from an "adequate" score to failing marks, finishing in last place for the fourth year in a row. Worth noting: CBS in the fall will premiere Partners, a comedy from the creators of Will & Grace, that features a gay couple among its ensemble cast.
On the cable side, 46 percent of Showtime's primetime fare -- which includes unscripted entry The Real L Word -- was found to be LGBT inclusive, followed by ABC Family (34 percent), TNT (34 percent) and HBO (33 percent.
TBS, for the fourth year in a row, received a failing rating with only 5 percent of its primetime offering found to be LGBT inclusive. History (3 percent) also failed to make the grade.
"Americans expect to see their off-screen worlds represented onscreen and today more than ever that includes LGBT people and families," GLAAD president Herndon Graddick said. "Story lines 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."
GLAAD's 17th annual Where We Are on TV report, an analysis of LGBT characters, story lines and gender, race/ethnicity studying the 2012-13 TV season, is due in September.
The full cable rankings follow:
ABC Family 34%