Sex and Gender Identity Diversity on Broadcast TV

By GLAAD |
September 23, 2008

Examining the sex and gender identity of all 616 series regular characters on the five broadcast networks, GLAAD analysts found that each network features more male than female characters, demonstrating a divergence from the general population (where Census figures from 1990 and 2000 consistently give women the slight edge).

GLAAD analysts found that ABC leads with the largest total number of female characters in the upcoming season, with 49% of its series regular characters being women. The CW comes in a close second with 46%, while Fox is ranked last, with only 38% of its total series regular characters being women.

Dirty Sexy Money's Candis Cayne, ABC

Series that explore gender identity are rare. In fact, ABC is the only broadcast network to depict transgender characters on their scripted series. The network features two transgender characters, and one of them is played by a transgender actress (Candis Cayne as Carmelita on Dirty Sexy Money). Unfortunately, ABC has announced that Rebecca Romijn’s character, Alexis, will have reduced involvement in the new season of Ugly Betty, meaning that there will be no series regular transgender characters on any broadcast network. Moreover, the two existing characters are white women, leaving both transgender people of color and transgender men unrepresented.

For complete analysis of the 2008-2009 television season, please click here.