GLAAD – Where We Are on TV Report – 2016

The Where We Are on TV report analyzes the overall diversity of primetime scripted series regulars on broadcast networks and looks at the number of LGBTQ characters on cable networks and streaming services for the 2016-2017 TV season.

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Below are some of the most remarkable points GLAAD found in its research this year, download the full report now to read more.

  • Of the 895 series regular characters expected to appear on broadcast scripted primetime programming in the coming year, 43 (4.8%) were identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer. This is the highest percentage of LGBTQ series regulars GLAAD has ever found. There were an additional 28 recurring LGBTQ characters.
  • The number of regular LGBTQ characters counted on scripted primetime cable series increased from 84 to 92, while recurring characters decreased from 58 to 50. This is a total of 142 LGBTQ characters, regular and recurring.
  • GLAAD also counted LGBTQ characters on original series that premiered on Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix. GLAAD found 45 series regulars and 20 recurring LGBTQ characters for a total of 65 characters. This is up from last year’s inaugural streaming count of 59 LGBTQ characters (43 regular and 16 recurring).
  • The number of regular and recurring transgender characters across all three platforms tracked has more than doubled, from seven characters last year to 16. There are three trans characters counted on broadcast, six on cable, and seven on streaming original series. Of the 16 characters, four are transgender men.
  • Lesbian representation dropped dramatically on broadcast television, down 16 percentage points to 17% of all LGBTQ characters. Lesbian representation is also down on cable, to 20% from 22% reported last year.
  • Bisexual representations on broadcast rose to 30%, up by ten percentage points from last year. Bisexual representations also rose on streaming series, from 20% to 26%. However, cable series have dropped in bisexual representations from 35% to 32%. Bisexual women far outnumber bisexual men on every platform. Many of these characters still fall into dangerous stereotypes about bisexual people.
  • Each platform tracked (broadcast, cable, streaming) counts one character who is HIV-positive, though only broadcast television counts the character as a series regular (Oliver on ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder).
  • Cable and streaming platforms still need to include more racially diverse LGBTQ characters as a majority of LGBTQ regular and recurring characters on each platform (72% and 71% respectively) are counted as white. Overall racial diversity is up again with 36% (325) of 895 series regular characters on broadcast counted as people of color, which is a three-point increase from last year’s report.
  • While this year’s report marks a record-high percentage of black series regulars on broadcast (20%), black women remain underrepresented at only 38% of all black series regular characters.
  • GLAAD found a record-high percentage of series regular characters with disability on broadcast television at 1.7% of all series regulars, this is up from the 0.9% reported last year.
  • This year, 44% of regular characters on primetime broadcast programming are women, which is an increase of one percentage point from last year but still greatly underrepresents women who make up 51% of the population.

Download the full report

Where We Are on TV Archive:

Where We Are on TV Report: 2005 – 2006 Season
Where We Are on TV Report: 2006 – 2007 Season
Where We Are on TV Report: 2007 – 2008 Season
Where We Are on TV Report: 2009 – 2010 Season
Where We Are on TV Report: 2010 – 2011 Season
Where We Are on TV Report: 2011 – 2012 Season
Where We Are on TV Report: 2012 – 2013 Season
Where We Are on TV Report: 2013 – 2014 Season
Where We Are on TV Report: 2014 – 2015 Season
Where We Are on TV Report: 2015 – 2016 Season

GLAAD’s annual TV report not only propels national conversations about LGBTQ representation, but informs GLAAD’s own advocacy within the television industry.  GLAAD uses this yearly data to create a clearer picture of the stories and images being presented by television networks, and to encourage networks to include diverse LGBTQ representations within them. The next Where We Are on TV will be released in 2017.