Gay rights campaigners have applauded the TV bosses behind hit shows including True Blood and Glee for bringing more homosexual characters to the small screen.
A report by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has found the number of gay, lesbian or bisexual characters appearing on TV has risen over the last year.
The study claims homosexual characters now make up 3.9 per cent of all those seen on U.S. TV.
Hit vampire show True Blood, which stars bisexual Anna Paquin and has featured six gay characters, was singled out for praise, along with musical show Glee and Modern Family.
GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios says, "The increase in lesbian, gay and bisexual characters on primetime television not only reflects the shift in American culture toward greater awareness and understanding of our community but also a new industry standard that a growing number of creators and networks are adopting.
"The recent critical and commercial success of shows like Modern Family and Glee clearly indicate that mainstream audiences embrace gay characters and want to see well-crafted stories about our lives."