BuzzFeed senior editor Kelley Carter and digital correspondent, Ray Cunningham otherwise known as MissterRay joined Roland Martin on “NewsOne Now” to discuss network TV rediscovering African American audiences and racking up huge ratings.
According to Nielsen, African Americans view more television over the course of the month than any other ethnic group. ABC’s “Scandal,” “How To Get Away With Murder,” and “Black-ish” along with Fox’s “Empire” are all drawing impressive numbers.
Carter told Martin, host of “NewsOne Now,” the “game changer” in broadcast television happened three years ago when ABC debuted “Scandal” as a mid-season replacement. “That was the first time you saw a television cast actively engaged and enact social media to get fans to watch the show.”
“When they saw the ratings results and they saw it was kind of dominating and atop treading topics on Twitter and also on Facebook, other casts on other networks were taking classes and workshops on how to engage fans via social media.”
Later on Carter said, “We’re starting to see networks understanding that we’re (African Americans) are out there and try to figure out how to us to be a part of these shows.”
Another critical point that seems to be driving the success of the latest crop of Black television shows involves network executives listening to the experts who know the African American community. “We know how to do us, let us do us and pay us accordingly,” said Martin.
MissterRay added, “It makes more sense when you have our cast telling our stories verses having someone else telling a story for us.”
Listen to Martin, Carter and MissterRay discuss the current success of Black TV on the major networks in the audio clip below. What is your favorite network TV show featuring African American characters?
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