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Men, women represented equally among gay characters on US TV

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The total number of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender characters remains steady on U.S. television for a second year, but is represented more equally between males and females, gay rights group GLAAD said on Friday.

There will be 112 LGBT characters in regular or recurring roles on scripted television shows across the United States in 2013-2014, and half are played by women, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) said, adding that it indicates networks are making more effort to diversify storylines.

In 2012, the majority of LGBT characters tracked by the GLAAD report were male.

Last year saw a record number of LGBT characters across U.S. scripted television, with 31 regularly on the five main primetime networks.

GLAAD releases a report annually tracking gender and ethnic diversity on television over the past year and in the coming year.

This year has seen a drop in LGBT characters on primetime networks due to the cancellation of shows such as "The New Normal" and "Go On," with 26 regular LGBT cast members and 20 recurring. On cable television, LGBT characters rose to 42 from last year's 35, HBO leading the way with 11 characters.

LGBT characters featured in leading or recurring roles in new shows this year include Fox police comedy "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," NBC sitcom "Sean Saves the World" and CBS thriller "Under the Dome."

ABC and FOX were the only primetime networks to increase the percentage of LGBT roles in shows, and NBC came in last among the five primetime broadcast networks.

While last year there were no regular transgender roles on primetime broadcast shows, "Glee" upgraded transgender character Unique to regular this year.

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by John Stonestreet)

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