WP: Television is getting more diverse. Here’s why it’s good for the business.

I prefer to see movies and television about people who are white and Jewish. Most people prefer to watch their own kind.

Washington Post:

By Lavanya Ramanathan November 29

lavanya

This year, it became impossible to turn on your television without noticing a major sea change: People of color are the stars of shows on almost every network and streaming service. It’s the year Hollywood (er, for the most part) stopped making excuses for its all-white shows and dabbled in diversity.

Who knows if it will last? But here’s a reason it should: Television isn’t just getting more diverse. It’s finally beginning to feel authentic.

There’s no better example than “Master of None,” Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang’s 10-episode miniseries that premiered on Netflix early this month. In it, Ansari plays Dev Shah, an actor navigating his 30s — a basic enough concept, set in that typical camera-ready city, New York. So why does it feel like the most revolutionary thing on television, ever?

I say this not because, in “Master of None,” I saw a character who looked like me. Or that I can relate to “Parents,” the episode in which Dev tries to better understand the worldview of his immigrant parents (with Ansari’s real mother and father in the roles); I also relate to the charming “Nashville,” about an epic date in that blissful cocoon phase of a relationship.

COMMENTS AT WP:

* Diversity ARE GOOD! Except, if you read the trades, TV is having an awful season, with barely a hit to record. Not that one has anything to do with the other!

* Empire audience dropped Yuge when they introduced and focused on a gay black story line.

Yes, eventually all characters will be black brown gay Trans just like the U.S. Enjoy.

* Lavanya? No wonder she is in favor of “diversity” – that is affirmative action, reverse discrimination, quota hiring.

Steve Sailer writes May 25, 2015:

I’ve noticed that it takes a fair amount of Googling to find entertainment data, such as Nielsen ratings, for Hispanics. One reason for this is because Nielsen has a monopoly and thus traditionally does a lackadaisical job. Another reason is that Hispanic media choices are not very distinctive. They tend to like whatever everybody else likes.

This is in sharp contrast to black tastes, which are very black. Here are recent Nielsen ratings:

AFRICAN AMERICAN AUDIENCE ESTIMATES
Ranked on Households
Week Ending May 10

#PROGRAMSNetRtgP2+(000)
1SCANDALABC14.52656
2NBA PLAYOFFS ON ABC-SA2ABC8.51693
3AMERICAN CRIMEABC7.61351
4NCIS: NEW ORLEANSCBS6.81233
5GREY’S ANATOMYABC6.71204
6BLACK-ISHABC6.41267
7NCISCBS6.21085
8CHICAGO PDNBC6.01128
9CRIMINAL MINDSCBS5.81129
10PERSON OF INTERESTCBS5.81034
* Ratings based on 13.65 million African American TV homes.
Source: Nielsen

Blacks love Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal (starring Kerry Washington as a Washington PR fixer) and the NBA. Blacks ratings are much more concentrated than for Hispanics because blacks like shows with blacks in them and don’t really care about shows such as Big Bang Theory and Modern Family without major black characters.

And here are Nielsen ratings for shows in English among Hispanics, which look a lot like the overall ratings.

HISPANIC ENGLISH-LANGUAGE VIEWING
Ranked on Households
Week Ending May 10

#PROGRAMSNetRtgP2+(000)
1DANCING WITH THE STARSABC3.7760
2BIG BANG THEORY, THECBS3.2692
3SCANDALABC3.0592
4MODERN FAMILYABC2.9690
4NCISCBS2.9565
6DWS: THE RESULTS SHOW-5/5(S)-05/05/2015ABC2.8567
6NCIS: NEW ORLEANSCBS2.8528
6VOICENBC2.8568
9BLACK-ISHABC2.7585
9GREY’S ANATOMYABC2.7564
Source: Nielsen

Latinos like dancing, but in general this looks a lot like the overall ratings. Here are the ratings for everybody of all ethnicities, although for the following week (does it take Nielsen an extra week to massage their black and Hispanic ratings?)

TOP 25 PROGRAMS – BROADCAST
Ranked on Households
Week Ending May 17

#PROGRAMSNetHOUSEHOLDSPERSONS 2+
Rtg%Shr(000)#Rtg%(000)
1NCISCBS9.3161085215.014939
2DANCING WITH THE STARSABC8.6141004824.613479
3NCIS: NEW ORLEANSCBS8.514987824.613610
4DWS:THE RESULTS SHOW-5/12(S)ABC6.711782053.410159
5BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS(S)ABC6.511757343.811181
6VOICENBC6.210719253.410051
7BIG BANG THEORY, THECBS6.111708273.29567
8VOICE-TUENBC5.810669893.19138
960 MINUTESCBS5.7116692103.08989
9GREY’S ANATOMYABC5.7106636132.88332
9SCANDALABC5.7106591162.78079

It doesn’t hurt the Hispanic ratings of Modern Family, a fairly sophisticated sitcom that the cast includes the highly entertaining Sofia Vergara, who is the ultimate evolution of the blonde bimba going back at least to Charo, but mostly English-speaking Hispanics seem to watch what everybody else is watching, only more so.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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