The GLAAD annual report about GLBT characters on television showed that there was a slight dip this year in bisexual characters on the small screen.
Among the 701 series regulars counted this year across 97 primetime scripted television programs on the five broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox and NBC), 31 are LGBT, which is an increase from last year’s 19.
This marks the 17th year GLAAD has tracked the number of LGBT characters expected to appear in the new fall television season on both broadcast and cable networks.
Here are excerpts of the report:
When it comes to sexual orientation, the diversity of LGBT regular and recurring scripted characters is more diverse on cable television than on broadcast. Gay men have a smaller share but still represent the majority of LGBT characters on cable at 49%. Lesbian women still make up a considerable percentage of LGBT characters at 27%.
Bisexual women represent 15% of LGBT characters on cable while bisexual men only represent 8%.
Gay men make up 61% of the LGBT characters counted on broadcast this year, a figure similar to last year. The percentage of lesbian characters has increased from 15% last year to 20% this year, while bisexual representation dropped from 24% to 18% (14% are bisexual women and 4% are bisexual men).
Though Fox has a high percentage of LGBT characters among its scripted primetime programs, that’s almost exclusively attributable to its comedy lineup.
Once again, Bones will be the only Fox drama to feature an out regular or recurring character.
Bisexual forensics expert Angela Montenegro continues to be a part of the series as it enters its 8th season. She is married to one of the show’s male supporting characters.
Returning this season is the popular drama Revenge, which features bisexual Nolan.
On CBS, bisexual investigator Kalinda Sharma will return in a supporting role on The Good Wife while Alicia’s gay brother Owen and lesbian FBI Agent Lana Delaney are scheduled to appear in a recurring capacity.
While it’s unlikely that Adrianna Tate-Duncan will be dating any more women on 90210, she will continue to be a part of the series when it returns on The CW.
True Blood (HBO) is the most inclusive show on cable television with six gay, lesbian or bisexual characters.
NBC also announced the premiere of another inclusive drama, Chicago Fire, which features Leslie Shay, an out lesbian Emergency Medical Technician. The show will also introduce Clarice, her bisexual ex-girlfriend who will be seen in a recurring capacity.
Evelyn is returning to Two and Half Men after she started dating a woman last season, making her one of the few older-generation LGBT characters currently on television.
Fox has the highest inclusive show on broadcast television, Glee, which features six LGBT regular or recurring characters. The Fox program will feature six LGBT regular or recurring characters in its fourth season. While there weren’t any regular or recurring transgender characters on a scripted broadcast series last season, Glee has set the stage for Unique to come out as transgender in the future. Also scheduled to return this season are lesbian/bisexual couple Santana and Brittany.
The only other Fox comedy with a regular LGBT character is the animated American Dad!, which includes “omnisexual” alien Roger.
Syfy recently started airing the Canadian drama Lost Girl which follows a bisexual “succubus” named Bo as well as two lesbian characters.
The regular bisexual female characters consist of Callie Torres on Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), Kalinda Sharma on The Good Wife (CBS), Evelyn Harper on Two and a Half Men (CBS), Brittany S. Pierce on Glee (Fox), Angela Montenegro on Bones (Fox), and Adrianna Tate-Duncan on 90210 (The CW).
Other prominent lesbian and bisexual characters on cable television include Tara Thornton and Pam De Beaufort on True Blood (HBO), Dr. Eleanor O’Hara on Nurse Jackie (Showtime), and Diana Barrigan on White Collar (USA).
As for male characters, gay men make up the majority of LGBT characters on cable again this year. Of the 61 regular or recurring LGBT characters on scripted cable television, 29 (49%) are gay men, while five (8%) are bisexual males.
Of the 50 LGBT regular or recurring characters counted on scripted broadcast primetime television, ten (20%) are lesbians, seven (14%) are bisexual women and one (2%) is a transgender woman. The rest are composed of 30 (61%) gay men and 2 (4%) bisexual men.
The five-year trend with bisexual characters in 2009-2010 was 3 and it is now 9, but one down from last year.
Bi characters on Broadcast networks is 7 this year and only 6 five years ago, but 8 last year.
Bisexual characters have remained a steady staple on TV at least in the last five years, but the number of portrayals took a slight dip this year.