So much so that the 2014-15 TV season is shaping up to be the most diverse season in small screen history. Factors contributing to this include a shift in TV programming sparked by “viewers’ evolving tastes” as well as “the nation’s shifting demographics, advertisers’ designs on an ever-growing minority population” and the power of “Black Twitter,” according to TheWrap.
Giving more weight to the diversity trend is ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat,” a sitcom that attracted strong ratings in its premiere with a 2.5 rating/8 share in the key 18-49 demographic. Despite a ratings drop since, the show, which centers on the relocation of an Asian-American family to mostly white suburban neighborhood in Orlando, Florida, brought in respectable 1.9 rating.
In addition, ABC has scored with “The Goldbergs,” another sitcom. The show, which is set in the 1980s and focuses on a Jewish family, exists in its second season with a steady 2.2 rating.
While these shows command good ratings, the game-changer this season has been “Empire.” The Fox show, starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, has emerged as the biggest hit of the season. It’s January premiere yielded a 3.8 rating as the show’s popularity continues to grow.
The most recent episode of “Empire” “posted a whopping 5.2 rating among adults 18-49,” the Wrap noted.
“It’s phenomenal,” said Esther Franklin, Executive Vice President of Starcom MediaVest Group, one of the largest ad-buying agencies in the world. “They hit the target and you’d better believe people are going to be following that.”
Via The Wrap, Franklin added that “Empire” has a powerful connection with African-Americans, who make up 61 percent of the viewing audience. About 40 percent of the remaining viewers are non African-American, the site noted.
The networks’ current love affair with primetime shows created by and starring minorities stems from Shonda Rhimes and her Thursday night juggernaut of must-see TV shows (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder”) that feature minority actors in leading roles.
And while ABC holds the distinction of being the network with the most diverse line-up, Netflix, OWN and the CW aren’t behind. Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” is hugely popular with a cast featuring several African-American and Hispanic actresses, as well as a transgender character, played by Laverne Cox.
For more on TV’s current diversity surge, click over to TheWrap.