GLAAD Gives Fox First "Excellent" Grade For TV Network

Empire S01E02 Still - H 2015
Chuck Hodes/FOX

Empire S01E02 Still - H 2015

Hits like 'Empire' and 'Glee' have earned the net top marks alongside ABC Family for inclusiveness from the LGBT advocacy group.

The rising number of LGBT characters on its schedule has earned Fox the first "excellent" grade for a U.S. broadcast network, according to the latest and final GLAAD TV study.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's ninth annual "Network Responsibility Index" report also gave ABC Family, with series like Pretty Little Liars and The Fosters, its third excellent grade. But the first for Fox and inclusive shows like Empire, Glee and So You Think You Can Dance marks a reversal for the broadcast network after it received a failing grade in the inaugural NRI report in 2006.

"The network’s progress is a testament to intentional efforts toward inclusion and the evolution of the TV landscape on the whole," the GLAAD report stated. The NRI report charted the quantity, quality, and diversity of LGBT representation on network TV shows that aired between June 2014 and May 2015.

GLAAD said ABC Family posted the highest-ever percentage of LGBT-inclusive programming for any network in the NRI surveys at 74 percent of its original programming. GLAAD also gave "good" grades to ABC, The CW, FX, HBO, MTV and Showtime; "adequate" grades to CBS, NBC, TLC, TNT and USA; and "failing" grades to A&E and History.

The NRI report said The CW led in racial diversity of its LGBT characters, and ABC offered the highest volume of LGBT-inclusive content. GLAAD added that, with LGBT representation rising on U.S. broadcast network schedules, the advocacy group will now focus on the diversity of characters portrayed.