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by Rex Wockner
ABC and the FX cable network do the best job of representing gay Americans, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said July 14.
GLAAD’s Network Responsibility Index tracks the quantity, quality and diversity of images of GLBT people on television.
ABC, with shows like “Brothers & Sisters,” “Desperate Housewives” and “Ugly Betty,” received the highest marks of the five broadcast networks. NBC and Fox scored lowest.
Among 10 of the highest-rated cable channels, FX aired the largest number of GLBT-inclusive hours of original programming, while TNT offered the fewest.
GLAAD examined all primetime programming – 4,911 hours – on the five major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and The CW) from June 1, 2007, to May 31, 2008. The group also reviewed all original primetime programming – 1,240 hours – on the 10 cable networks.
“Time and again we see that what people watch on TV shapes how they view and treat the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people around them,” said GLAAD President Neil Giuliano. “ABC and FX are … showing other networks that including images of our community can go hand in hand with critical and commercial success.”
Each of the 6,151 hours of TV was reviewed for any on-screen GLBT representations, and networks were assigned a grade of excellent, good, adequate or failing.
ABC and The CW rated good, with 24 percent and 21 percent of their primetime programming hours inclusive of GLBT representations. CBS rated adequate, with 9 percent. NBC and Fox received failing grades for their 6 percent and 4 percent of programming hours with GLBT images.
Of the 10 cable networks evaluated, FX, HBO and Showtime each received a grade of good, with FX leading with 45 percent of programming hours featuring GLBT representations. Lifetime and MTV ranked adequate. A&E, Spike, TBS, TNT and USA received failing grades.
The full report is at http://www.glaad.org/media/nri/NRI_2008.pdf.