A new study reveals that contemporary black television shows are bringing in a notable non-black viewership.
A recent Nielsen report states that TV shows such as Black-ish, Atlanta, Insecure, How to Get Away with Murder and many others, are pulling in non-black viewership, with the findings representing the cross-cultural appeal of these (and other) series.
The study specifically highlights some of the shows mentioned above, with Black-ish having 79 percent non-black viewership; Atlanta having 50 percent non-black viewership; and Insecure having 61 percent non-black viewership.
“Much of the American narrative lately has focused on a growing cultural divide. But Nielsen’s data on television programming show something different,” Andrew McCaskill, Senior Vice President of Communications and Multicultural Marketing at Nielsen, said. “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.”
Donald Glover‘s Atlanta premiere scored the best audience of any basic cable primetime scripted comedy in over three years in the key 18-49 demographic. This had not happened since 2013, with Comedy Central’s series premiere of Inside Amy Schumer.
Such accomplishments are a reflection of the Nielsen study’s findings.
Most of the shows mentioned in the report have also gained critical acclaim. This year Atlanta won the Golden Globe for Best Television Series – Music or Comedy, while Tracee Ellis-Ross received the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series.
The report also highlights the ways in which a predominantly black audience can catapult a television series into mainstream success, with the study using Empire as an example. The show, which has a 63 percent black audience, has not only seen some its actors and actresses win awards for their portrayals (Taraji P. Henson won a Golden Globe last year for her portrayal of Cookie), but has even inspired its own makeup collection.