11:14PM, EST, March 24, 2015
According to Nellie Andreeva (@DeadlineNellie)
There was a noticeable shift toward minority castings last season, with more parts opening up to ethnic actors, a casting term used for non-Caucasian thesps. It was a concerted effort, with more than one instance where a family member role was rewritten as adopted to make them ethnic. Then, following the success of freshman series How To Get Away With Murder, Black-ish, Fresh Off The Boat, Jane the Virgin and especially Empire, which launched to huge ratings at the kickoff of pilot casting season, ethnic castings exploded this season.
While not a superfan of Empire, we are crazy fans of Black-ish, Jane The Virgin and Fresh Off The Boat. From 2012-2014 we were devout fans of the truly inspired “The Neighbors” which was unceremoniously pulled off the air after much lobbying of fan support.
We actually think credit should be given to “The Neighbors” for letting casting directors and TV execs know that ethnic casting is something to embrace and the results whether for dramatic or comedy, are that much more real experience for all viewers.
Who was this uptight British alien guy (Simon Templeman) with the fascinating, smart and sexy, black wife (Toks Olagundoye) and his sensitive, guitar playing fish-out-0f-water Chinese son (Tim Jo) with their genius red-headed younger son (Ian Patrick) who was maybe the most out of place. Why did race just mix and no one talked about it; but rather embraced it even when Reginald VelJohnson (Family Matters) and Meredith Baxter (Family Ties) came to visit their daughter “Jackie Joyner-Kersee” on Thanks giving.
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