Fewer LGBT Characters on TV This Year

Portrayals down in broadcast TV, up in cable shows

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Eddy Chen / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank / Getty Images

Andre Braugher as Captain Holt.

After a record-setting year of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender characters on TV in 2012, GLAAD recorded a drop in the upcoming 2013-2014 television season, according to their annual “Where We Are on TV” report. 3.3 percent of series regulars on television will be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender this year, down from 4.4 percent in 2012.

However, GLAAD found that an equal number of LGBT men and women will be portrayed on television, which the organization believes signals networks’ effort to “diversity story lines beyond the white gay male narrative most commonly seen on television.”

Broadcast television saw a slight drop in LGBT characters. The New NormalSmashHappy Endings, 90210 and The Office (among other shows featuring LGBT characters) were all canceled or ended last season, drastically reducing the LGBT characters on primetime. However, there were a few LGBT adds to network shows like Captain Ray Holt (pictured) on Fox’s new show Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Marika on ABC’s Super Fun Night.

Cable television, on the other hand, will feature 42 LGBT characters this year, up from last year’s 35. Perhaps unsurprisingly, HBO will be the most inclusive network according to the report, with Looking, a show centered around three gay men in San Francisco, premiering this year.

The report also highlighted Netflix shows House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black for their portrayal of both gay and, in the latter’s case, a transgender character in recurring roles.

MORE: Hollywood’s Surprising New Character: Transgender Roles on TV

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