Since this year’s #OscarsSoWhite protests, Hollywood has been desperately scrambling to find ways to never have that trending again. Luckily, this year’s Tony and Emmy Awards both hit us with equal bursts of #wokeness and it finally seems like someone got the message.
Not only does diversity on-screen make for better television, but it’s now finally starting to pull in impressive viewership numbers, gaining audiences that beat out those of all-white, heteronormative casts. A 2013 UCLA report proved that on “cable television shows, median household ratings were highest among those programs with casts that were 31 to 40 percent minority.”
Some of our favorite shows to watch today follow this minority-led model and people are not only starting to take notice, but they’re starting to look for even more diverse shows to watch. According to a report by GLAAD, television has recently seen a spike in the number of LGBTQ, black and disabled characters. With front-runners like Empire, How to Get Away with Murder, Mr. Robot, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Transparent and Black-ish all receiving critical and commercial success, are we approaching a renaissance in TV? We handpicked some of our fave shows with diverse and talented casts for the TV enthusiast in all of us.
For those looking to watch a hearty workplace comedy…
America Ferrera leads this eclectic cast of mega-store employees as they brave super-sales and workplace relationships. The cast consists of irritably relatable (and diverse) characters painted by the sly minds that brought us The Office.
For anyone looking to find love and self-acceptance in Los Angeles…
Inspired by her web-series “Awkward Black Girl,” Issa Rae’s newest HBO series is a breath of culturally stimulating fresh air. The TV show follows Rae as she struggles to both maintain relationships and define what it means to be a black woman today. Make no doubt about it, the show is hysterical and offers plenty of hilarious and very tweet-able one-liners.
For people who want a quirky Donald Glover comedy based in his hometown…
Donald Glover’s latest project, Atlanta, has shattered records both inside and outside of the writer’s room. Not only is his writing staff all black but his first two episodes premiered this September with an astounding 1.8 million viewers. “I wanted to show white people, you don’t know everything about black culture,” Glover told Vulture.
For those of us who are here for Hilary Duff being back on TV…
To non-Broadway people, Sutton Foster may not ring a bell. But to the theater community, she is a modern goddess who plays a 40-year-old woman that poses as a hip 26-year-old in TV Land’s hit, Younger. Now in the middle of its third season, Younger is gaining momentum because of Foster’s charismatic charm, Patricia Field’s impressionistic fashion choices and Debi Mazar as her free-spirited lesbian roommate.
For those who want to be left at the edge of their seats…
As if there were not enough sci-fi dramas to obsessively invest in, Westworld is a beacon of hope for women and POC within this traditionally white male genre. The eloquent Evan Rachel Wood leads the Oscar-winning cast (Anthony Hopkins!) in a sci-fi and Western-themed park consumed with elusive sub-plots and stunning visuals. In true HBO drama fashion, Westworld is filled with many “WTF!” moments that are likely to cause hysteria on your Twitter timeline.