The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has released a list of the top US television networks for the representation of gay and lesbian characters.

The third annual Network Responsibility Index found that HBO, which airs True Blood, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and Entourage, came out top for representation among the 15 networks surveyed.

ABC came out top of the broadcast networks for LGBT inclusion. Of its 1,146.5 total hours of primetime programming, 24 per cent were representative of LGBT people, including nine per cent which were trans-inclusive.

Fox, which received a failing grade last year, has risen to third out of the five broadcast networks, with 11 per cent of its programming being representative. However, GLAAD suggested that it had aired some “problematic” representations.

CBS came bottom, with just five per cent LGBT-inclusive content.

Among the ten cable networks, TBS came bottom with just half an hour of LGBT-inclusive broadcasting. A&E aired two hours.

GLAAD reviewed 4,901 hours of primetime broadcasting for inclusion of LGBT characters or issues on the five major networks (ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox and NBC) between June 1st, 2008 to May 31st, 2009.

It also examined all original primetime programming – 1,212.5 hours – on ten cable networks (A&E, FX, HBO, Lifetime, MTV, Showtime, Sci Fi, TBS, TNT, and USA).

Each network was given a grade of excellent, good, adequate or failing.

Among the five broadcast networks, ABC and The CW ranked first and second respectively, as they have done since the index began.