Reports & Research
Understanding Childhood Issues & Highlighting Them
Fall Colors: How TV Portrays Characters of Color and Treats Issues of Race, 2000
Jul 01, 2000
Download file: fall_colors_2000.pdf
In January 2000, Children Now released its comprehensive quantitative analysis of diversity in the 1999-2000 broadcast prime time entertainment programming. Titled Fall Colors, the report detailed the under-representation of nonwhite characters in primary recurring roles. Programs were rated on a Program Diversity Index (PDI) for the level of diversity in their casts.
Children Now discovered that a majority of prime time programs were classified as mixed when entire casts of characters were considered. When the analysis was narrowed to include the opening credits cast only, nearly half of the shows on prime time were shown to have all white casts. Clearly, then, much of the diversity found in prime time programs came from non-recurring or guest characters in programs where the regularly appearing characters were overwhelmingly white.