Black Women Dominate: Shonda Rhimes

Producer, showrunner, writer, and also one of the few Black women in Hollywood with successful mainstream shows, Shonda Rhimes opened the floodgates of racial and cultural diverse representation on ABC with Black women at the center of many of her narratives and in return, it has created a wide, racially and culturally diverse audience – benefitting the network in enormous brand lift and ad sales.
Though she has other writing credits to her name, it would be “Scandal” starring Kerry Washington that became among the most tweeted about shows on television. Shonda’s insights on the representation of Black women in lead roles paid off again with Viola Davis playing the starring role of Annalise Keating in the mega-hit show “How to Get Away with Murder” (HTGAWM). The casting strategy is not happenstance. Beyond the data, it seems to hold up intuitively. More diverse casting, combined with good writing and marketing, equals a more diverse and expansive viewership.
The data supplements this...

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