A new study carried out by the marketing research firm Nielsen has silenced the claim that mainstream America isn’t interested in TV shows fronted by African-American actors.
Why the likes of ABC, NBC and Fox can be expected to develop new content of colour in the coming years?
Find out below…
— With 89% non-black viewership, “This Is Us,” NBC’s Golden Globe–nominated ensemble dramedy, includes Sterling K. Brown as a black businessman raised by white parents and tackles topics such as drug addiction, racism, homosexuality, alcoholism, adoption, obesity and cancer.
— ABC’s hit sitcom “Black-ish” follows a father and husband (Anthony Anderson) who’s trying to create a sense of black cultural identity for his affluent family of six and has 79% non-black viewership. Tracee Ellis Ross, who plays his wife, won the best actress in a comedy series Golden Globe for her role.
— 75% of the viewership for “Secrets and Lies,” the ABC crime drama that revolves around the biracial heir (Michael Ealy) to a Charlotte, N.C., equity firm and the murder of his wife, are non-black.
— ABC’s hit Shonda Rhimes drama “How to Get Away with Murder” starring Viola Davis as a criminal defense professor who gets entangled in a murder plot, draws 69% non-black viewership.
— 68% of ABC’s “Scandal,” another Shondaland thriller featuring Kerry Washington as a former media consultant to the president, is non-black.
— With 63% non-black viewers, Fox’s “Pitch” is a dramedy about the first woman, a black woman, to play baseball in the Major Leagues.
— The audience for “Insecure,” the HBO original comedy series co-created by Issa Rae, is 61% non-black.
— And half the viewership for Donalg Glover’s FX series “Atlanta” is non-black. The show, created by and starring Donald Glover, centers on two black cousins navigating the Atlanta rap scene.
Andrew McCaskill, Senior Vice President, Communications and Multicultural Marketing, at Nielsen had this to say about the findings:
Much of the American narrative lately has focused on a growing cultural divide. But Nielsen’s data on television programming show something different. Storylines with a strong black character or identity are crossing cultural boundaries to grab diverse audiences and start conversations. That insight is important for culture and content creators, as well as manufacturers and retailers looking to create engaging, high-impact advertising campaigns.
It seems, despite efforts to present proponents of diversity within entertainment as rebels without a cause, the industry is benefitting from the birth of shows which offer viewers complex, colourful and compelling access to complex, colourful and compelling characters.