Network Responsibility Index Continues to be Covered on TV and Blogs

August 4, 2009
Since the release of GLAAD's third annual Network Responsibility Index (NRI) last week, the blogosphere has been abuzz with responses to the report. CBS and SyFy have promised big changes and  Chelsea Handler comedically pointed out a few things she thinks we missed. Video courtesy of E! Online: We at GLAAD always appreciate Chelsea's humor. A strong and hilarious ally to the gay community, she hosted the 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco earlier this year, so despite what some blogs would have you believe, there is no feud between GLAAD and Chelsea Handler. We thank her for bringing attention to the NRI on her Chelsea Lately! The NRI analyzes programming on the five broadcast networks, the eight highest rated non-children's/news/sports cable networks plus HBO and Showtime which, as subscription networks, do not receive as many viewers but are considered to be among the major cable networks.
Paul James as gay frat boy Calvin Owens on ABC Family's Greek

Paul James as gay frat boy Calvin Owens on ABC Family's Greek

E! was not among those networks this year. However, because ratings change from year to year, the ten cable networks counted this year are not necessarily the ten that will be counted in next year's NRI. Case in point: the second annual NRI counted Spike, which was replaced this year by Sci Fi (now SyFy). This may change again in next year's report. Several cable networks that did not crack our top ten but air significant LGBT content, such as ABC Family, Bravo and BBC America, were included in the "Additional Cable Overview" found in the rear of the NRI. Bloggers also wondered why daytime television was not included in the report. There is little question that the daytime TV landscape for LGBT characters is better today than it has ever been. We commend the writers of daily dramas such as As the World Turns, The Young & The Restless, Guiding Light and One Life to Live for seamlessly incorporating LGBT characters into their stories. However, tracking 6,113.5 hours of primetime network and cable television is a big task. While right now we do not have the staff capacity to include daytime in the NRI, we do monitor storylines and recognize outstanding representations in the Daily Drama category at the GLAAD Media Awards.