Nelsan Ellis in True Blood.

Five American TV networks have received a fail grade on the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) third annual Network Responsibility Index. The report maps the quantity, quality and diversity of images of LGBT people on television.

Of the 15 networks evaluated, five networks earned a fail according to the report’s “excellent,” “good,” “adequate” and “failing” ratings. Of the 4901 hours of primetime programming viewed for the report, the networks NBC and CBS only contained 8 and 5 percent of LGBT content respectively, earning them a failing grade along with the A&E, Sci Fi and TBS networks.

At the top of the list is HBO, which had 42 percent of programming hours featuring LGBT representation. The cable network features shows like True Blood, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and Entourage which the reports says reflects the ethnic and racial diversity of the LGBT community.

ABC, with shows including Brothers & Sisters, Grey’s Anatomy and Ugly Betty, again received the highest ranking of the five broadcast networks, earning a Good grade with 24 percent of their primetime programming hours including LGBT representations.

“This year programming was not only inclusive of LGBT people, but networks like HBO are beginning to reflect the broad diversity within our community,” said Rashad Robinson, Senior Director of Media Programs at GLAAD.

GLAAD reviewed a total of 4,901 hours of primetime programming for inclusion of LGBT characters or issues on the five major networks (ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox and NBC) from June 1, 2008 to May 31, 2009. GLAAD also examined 1,212.5 hours of original primetime programming on 10 highly-rated cable networks. Each hour was reviewed for on-screen LGBT representations.

“Television shows that weave our stories into the fabric of the series present richer, more accurate representations and are the kinds of images that help Americans understand and embrace their LGBT family members, friends and neighbours in a more meaningful way,” said Robinson.

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