GLAAD: 'True Blood' has most gay characters

9:00 PM PST 09/28/2010 by James Hibberd, AP

Study finds number increasing on cable after two-year decline

"True Blood" is the show with the most gay characters on TV.

The HBO drama topped the annual survey by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which tallied the number of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender characters.

The "True Blood" score (six) is part of an overall rebounding by cable networks in the 15th annual study, which found the number of gay characters off-broadcast increasing after a two-year decline.

Across all of television, gay characters have climbed once again this year, representing 3.9% of all TV characters. With 35 characters total, that's up 40% from last year if you only take cable into consideration.

ABC continues to lead the other broadcast networks, with 11 gay characters. Fox, which a few years ago featured no regular gay characters, now has five. The CW continues to add gay characters, with three. NBC was the only network that declined from last year, down to three. CBS is in last place once again, with one.

On the cable side, HBO has the largest number of gay characters, followed by ABC Family. Showtime, Syfy, TNT, FX, Starz and Teen Nick also have a representative number.

"The increase in lesbian, gay and bisexual characters on primetime television not only reflects the shift in American culture toward greater awareness and understanding of our community but also a new industry standard that a growing number of creators and networks are adopting," GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios said. "The recent critical and commercial success of shows like 'Modern Family' and 'Glee' clearly indicate that mainstream audiences embrace gay characters and want to see well-crafted stories about our lives."
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