GLAAD Network Responsibility Index 2010 - 2011

The fifth annual GLAAD Network Responsibility Index is an evaluation of the quantity, quality and diversity of images of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people on television. It is intended to serve as a road map toward increasing fair, accurate and inclusive LGBT media representations.

The fifth annual GLAAD Network Responsibility Index is an evaluation of the quantity, quality and diversity of images of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people on television. It is intended to serve as a road map toward increasing fair, accurate and inclusive LGBT media representations.

Primetime programming on the five broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox and NBC) was evaluated as well as 10 highly-rated cable networks (A&E, ABC Family, AMC, FX, HBO, Showtime, Syfy, TBS, TNT and USA). Based on the analysis, a grade was assigned to each network: Excellent, Good, Adequate, or Failing.

Key findings From the GLAAD Network Responsibility Index include:

  • This year, ABC Family becomes the second network, cable or broadcast, to receive an "Excellent" rating in this report due to the quality and diversity of its many LGBT impressions.  Of the 10 cable networks evaluated, ABC Family posted the largest increase (+18%) and ranked highest for LGBT-inclusive original content. Out of 103 total hours of original primetime programming, 56.5 (55%) hours included LGBT impressions.  ABC Family was also the most racially diverse this year, with 35% white impressions, 25% black, 13% Latino/a, and 28% multiracial.
  • Compared to last year's NRI, GLAAD has found that the five major broadcast networks have all remained relatively steady in the percentage of LGBT-inclusive hours found in their primetime programming.  There has been no change in their rankings relative to one another based on these figures, though The CW, Fox, and ABC all experienced slight declines, while NBC and CBS both experienced slight increases.  ABC saw the greatest decline at -3%, while CBS saw greatest increase at +3%.
  • For the second year in a row, The CW is the top broadcast network in this report with 171 (33%) LGBT-inclusive hours out of 521 total hours of original programming. Last year, The CW reached 35% LGBT-inclusive hours, which remains the highest percentage ever recorded for a broadcast network since this report's inception. The CW's programming also reflected the second greatest racial/ethnic diversity among its LGBT impressions of all the broadcast networks.
  • Once again, ABC had to settle for third place behind The CW and Fox in terms of the percentage of its LGBT-inclusive primetime hours. However, ABC led all the broadcast networks in total hours of LGBT inclusion. Of the 1108 total tracked hours of primetime programming, 253 (23%) included LGBT impressions.
  • For the third year in a row, CBS remains in last place among the broadcast networks. Since GLAAD began the NRI, CBS has demonstrated the least overall improvement over a five year period. This year however, it posted the largest gain of any network with a modest 3% increase; 114 (10%) LGBT-inclusive hours of programming out of 1110 hours total. Because of this, CBS' score was raised from "Failing" to "Adequate."
  • Showtime made a stronger showing this year with 35.5 (37%) LGBT-inclusive hours out of 96.5 total. Though it didn't feature the most racially diverse range of impressions (85% white), it did include a strong showing for both lesbians (54%) and bisexuals (48%) in its LGBT-inclusive hours.
  • Another network that showed improvement was USA, which increased from 4% LGBT-inclusive hours to 18% thanks to the upgrading of Diana Berrigan on White Collar to regular status.  This improvement moves USA from a score of "Failing" to "Adequate."
  • A&E and TBS continue to reside at the bottom of our rankings and earn "Failing" grades with only 5% LGBT-inclusive programming hours each.  Those numbers are a slight improvement over the 2% and 1% they respectively posted in last year's NRI.

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