Which characters are gaining in popularity on American TV? It appears the number of gay and bisexual heroes on scripted broadcast networks is at its highest-ever level this season, according to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
The annual "Where We Are on TV" report reveals that 4.4 per cent of actors appearing regularly on prime-time network drama and comedy series during the 2012-13 season will portray lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender characters.
The figure is up from 2.9 per cent in 2011, which saw a dip in what had been a growing annual trend, AP reported.
"It is vital for networks to weave complex and diverse story lines of LGBT people in the different programs they air," President of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Herndon Graddick noted.
Since its inception in 1985, the non-governmental media monitoring organization has been promoting the image of LGBT people in the media.
"More and more Americans have come to accept their LGBT family members, friends, co-workers and peers, and as audiences tune into their favorite programs, they expect to see the same diversity of people they encounter in their daily lives," he added.
The study reviewed 97 scripted TV programs scheduled to air in the upcoming season on the broadcast networks. Counting a total of 701 series regular characters, it turned out that 31 of them are LGBT characters.
ABC is said to be the champion, with 10 out of 194, or 5.2 per cent, of their regular characters identified as LGBT.
Meanwhile, regular gay and lesbian characters on what the study hails as "mainstream" cable television has also risen, up to 35 this season from 29 last season.
The HBO drama "True Blood" featuring six LGBT characters and based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels by Charlaine Harris remains cable's most inclusive series. The struggle for vampire equality has been interpreted as an allegory for the LGBT rights movement, with several phrases in the series adapted from expressions used against and about LGBT people, "God Hates Fangs" among them.