This image was lost some time after publication.

With the dawning of a new TV season comes another cherished fall tradition: the Counting of the Gays, during which GLAAD tallies up the number of same-sex-having characters appearing regularly on the 2007-08 primetime schedule. In keeping with last year's distressing trends, the Gays continues to wane:

In the 2007-08 TV season, broadcast series will feature seven regularly seen characters who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, down from nine characters in 2006 and 10 the season before, GLAAD said. Most are on one network — ABC.

The new figure represents 1.1% of all regular characters on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CW, compared to 1.3% in 2006, according to the study to be released Monday. [...]

By comparison, cable shows will feature 40 gay characters as series regulars, GLAAD said.

Indeed, without ABC's providing of such Queer-nurturing environments as Wisteria Lane, Mode magazine, and the Walker family's kitchen pantry, the increasingly rare Spotted Primetime Gay would be facing near extinction. In its place, we'd face a bleak TV landscape, peopled entirely by the sexless, corpse-obsessed breeder principals of countless Law & Order and CSI spinoffs. Heed our words, network execs: Add more gays, lest you want the remainder of your dwindling audiences to quit you in favor of the rainbow-colored promised lands of cable and YouTubes, where an informed and impassioned defense of Britney Spears is never further than a click away.