Photo: Ramon Rodriguez (Bosley on NBC's "Charlie's Angels" remake) one of the very few Latino actors on new programs
When NBCUniversal announced it would be merging with Comcast, diversity was an issue and became a stipulation for those that would eventually allow the merger. Yet, months after the merger, and after then-diversity chief, Paula Madison, assured every one that NBCU was committed to diversity, barely any has been seen.
Since those assurances have been made, Madison has retired, and the few shows with more minority-filled casts (“Undercovers”, “Outlaws”, “The Event”, and “Outsources”) were canceled. After these flops last season, those waiting for new diverse shows were disappointed to see very little.
It what appears to be it’s only new show with a minority lead (a Cuban-American) NBCUniversal cast Eddie Cibrian will be front and center for “The Playboy Club”.
But while the new shows don’t exactly highlight multi-cultural casts, those like “30 Rock” and “Parks and Recreation” remain examples of how diverse casts can clearly be successful.
Lack of diversity isn’t just a problem for NBCUniversal however. CBS only has Taraji P. Henson in a supporting role for the upcoming “Person of Interest”. And while scoring better in the diversity game, ABC and Fox are not fairing much better. Fox has Anglo-Indian Shelley Conn as the lead in “Terra Nova” and ABC brings in Annie Ilonzeh and Ramon Rodriquez (playing Bosley) for its remake of “Charlie’s Angels”.
Still, those calling on a greater Latino, Black, and overall minority presence to television, are keeping an eye of NBCUniversal to keep its promise, especially with NBC Entertainment’s chairman, Robert Greenblatt, recently promising that his network is “embedded in diversity.”