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TV Shows With Black Casts Are Scoring High Ratings and Drawing Significant Non-Black Viewership, Nielsen Reports

The landscape of television has certainly changed over the years. In the 90’s (often referred to as the golden era of black sitcoms), major networks featured shows like A Different World, Living Single and Moesha.

The early 2000’s were also peak time for quality black television with shows like My Wife and Kids, One on One, Girlfriends and The Bernie Mac Show.

Although it may seem that the popularity of black TV shows is fading, a new Nielsen report finds that they’re achieving high ratings and attracting diverse audiences.

According to Nielsen, “Black-ish, Secrets and Lies, How to Get Away with Murder, Pitch, Rosewood, Insecure and Atlanta all average more than 50% non-black viewership.”

ATLANTA — Pictured: (l-r) Brian Tyree Henry as Alfred Miles, Keith Standfield as Darius, Donald Glover as Earnest Marks. CR: Matthias Clamer/FX

“Much of the American narrative lately has focused on a growing cultural divide. But Nielsen’s data on television programming show something different,” says Andrew McCaskill, Senior Vice President, Communications and Multicultural Marketing, at Nielsen.

“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.”


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