LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - ABC and cable channel FX
have been ranked the most gay-friendly networks by a gay-rights
At the other end of the scale, NBC, Fox, A&E, Spike, TBS,
USA Network and TNT all received fail grades from the Gay &
Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
The second annual GLAAD Network Responsibility Index
examined 4,911 hours of primetime programming on the five major
networks. For the first time, the group monitored 1,241 hours
of original programming on 10 of the most-watched cable
The index sought to gauge the quantity, quality and
diversity of images of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
people on television. Eight of the networks were given passing
ABC -- led by "Brothers & Sisters," "Desperate Housewives"
and "Ugly Betty" -- was given a grade of "good," with the
highest score among broadcasters. The report said 24% of ABC's
programming hours was considered inclusive. The report praised
"Brothers & Sisters" in particular for portraying the first gay
marriage on television.
The CW, driven by "America's Next Top Model," was a close
second (21%). The report said the scores of ABC and the CW
significantly increased this year and added that the CW was the
most ethnically diverse broadcast network.
CBS was rated "adequate" (9%), while NBC (6%) and Fox (4%)
were both labeled "failing," with their scores decreasing
slightly this year. The report added that the quality of gay
characters on NBC increased across several shows, but its score
dropped overall because of the departure of Laura Innes'
lesbian character, Kerry Weaver, from "ER."
"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," GLAAD president Neil Giuliano
said. "ABC and FX are leading the way when it comes to telling
our stories, showing other networks that including images of
our community can go hand in hand with critical and commercial
Among the cable networks evaluated, FX (45%) came out on
top, mainly thanks to "Nip/Tuck." HBO (26%) and Showtime (32%)
also were considered "good," with HBO also called the most
ethnically diverse cable network. Lifetime (10%) and MTV (16%)
were "adequate." A&E (4%), Spike (10%), TBS (7%), USA Network
(4%) and TNT (1%) were all ranked "failing."
None of the evaluated networks earned the survey's top
ranking of "excellent."
The report also noted that most of the hours that counted
for networks were thanks to portraying gay men.
"If television viewers -- both gay and straight --
understand the LGBT community to be a group comprised almost
exclusively of white gay men, we have a serious problem,"