Without a doubt, 2016 was a great year for television and film. Tracee Ellis Ross won a Golden Globe for her season three role in Black-ish, Donald Glover’s Atlanta made us laugh, OWN’s Greenleaf and Netflix’s Luke Cage debuted and Issa Rae won our hearts with Insecure. In a recently released study, Nielson breaks down the top trends in viewership for Black women last year —and the facts may surprise you.
Top 20 Television Shows Among Black Women
1. EMPIRE (FOX)
2. THE NEW EDITION STORY (BET)
3. STAR (FOX)
4. THE HAVES AND THE HAVE NOTS (OWN)
5. LOVE & HIP HOP ATLANTA 6 (VH1)
6. SCANDAL (ABC)
7. QUEEN SUGAR (OWN)
8. HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER (ABC)
9. LOVE & HIP HOP 7 (VH1)
10. IF LOVING YOU IS WRONG (OWN)
11. REAL HOUSEWIVES ATLANTA (BRAVO)
12. LOVE & HIP HOP HOLLYWOOD 3 (VH1)
13. GREENLEAF (OWN)
14. FOX NFL SUNDAY-NATIONAL (FOX)
15. BASKETBALL WIVES 6 (VH1)
16. SHOTS FIRED (FOX)
17. POWER 3 (STARZ)
18. LETHAL WEAPON (FOX)
19. T.I. AND TINY 6 (VH1)
20. LOVE HIP HOP ATL SPECIALS (VH1)
The takeaway: Black women are driving the culture and evidence of that is in the numbers.
According to Nielson, Black audiences’ higher engagement on social media is also driving the success of shows with Black principal characters and predominately Black casts. Almost every time one airs, it trends on social media. Black women are not only tuning in to watch, they are also logging on to social media to offer commentary and to discuss the plot twists, sex scenes, memorable lines, and Black cultural references.
Additionally, the chance to chat about shows online as they happen and to experience other viewer’s reactions have driven Black women to watch the show’s actual broadcasts, instead of waiting to watch an episode later.
On social media, this has resulted in a Twitter uptick, which signals to potential viewers that it is not only a good show to watch, but a happening they need to be part of, which is exactly why Black audiences and the shows they watch have captured the attention of networks and advertisers.
With that said, which shows are you watching? Are you surprised by these numbers? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook!