Fox’s breakout drama, ‘Empire,’ has grown its viewership to nearly 12 million viewers since its initial January premiere. The show’s loyal audience isn’t the only group paying attention every week.
‘On top of just wanting to reflect how the world looks, diversity is good business. And I think that’s finally started to sink in during the last two years,’ NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke recently told The Hollywood Reporter. ‘A show like ‘Empire’ is a turbo boost to the change. It’s a wake-up call that there’s a gigantic audience that doesn’t want to see themselves reflected in token casting. They want authenticity.’
The success of shows with minority cast members such as Jane The Virgin, Empire, and Fresh Off The Boat allegedly has rival networks looking to diversify their programming schedules. In an article for The Hollywood Reporter, Michael O’Connell wrote Meagan Good, Paula Patton, Daman Wayans Jr., and Sandra Oh were all being considered for various projects.
As recently as 2011, The Hollywood Reporter noted blacks comprised only 13 percent of the roles in film and television.