The study analyzes 1,000 programs which aired during the 2011 – 2012 season on 67 cable and broadcast networks.
“It’s clear that people are watching shows that reflect and relate to their own experiences,” said Bunche Center director Darnell Hunt.
His study found not only do more diverse casts and crews lead to bigger audiences, but shows employing less diverse casts and crews tend to have smaller audiences.
“Everyone in the industry talks about the importance of diversity,” said Hung. “But it clearly isn’t priority one when decisions are made. And it’s not going to be a priority until people realize how it affects the bottom line.”
Shows on cable which casts were 31- 40 percent minority and had strong ratings included A.N.T. Farm (Disney), The Closer (TNT) and Falling Skies(TNT).
The study found ratings peaked for broadcast shows that were 41-50 percent minority and dived for shows when minorities made up less than ten percent of the cast and crew.