TV Statistics

TV Statistics | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

2016-2017 SEASON

Women on TV

  • Overall, 68% of the programs considered featured casts with more male than female characters. 11% had ensembles with equal numbers of female and male characters. 21% of the programs featured casts with more female than male characters.
  • Across platforms, females comprised 42% of all speaking characters.
  • Females accounted for 42% of major characters on broadcast network, cable, and streaming programs.
  • Women comprised 43% of all speaking characters on broadcast network programs in 2016-17, the same percentage achieved in 2007–08.
  • Across platforms, programs are becoming more racially and ethnically diverse. Black characters in speaking roles comprised 19% of all females in 2016–17, up from 16% in 2015–16. Asian characters accounted for 6% of all females in 2016–17, up from 4% in 2015–16. The percentage of Latinas increased from 4% in 2015–16 to 5% in 2016–17.
  • Broadcast network programs became more racially and ethnically diverse in 2016–17, with Black and Asian female characters achieving recent historical highs. The percentage of Black females was 21% in 2016–17. The percentage of Asian females was 7% in 2016–17.
  • Latinas accounted for only 5% of all female characters with speaking roles on broadcast network programs. This figure is even with the number achieved in 2015–16 and 2010–11.
  • Female characters were younger than their male counterparts, more likely than men to be identified by their marital status, and less likely than men to be seen at work and actually working.
  • Across platforms, female characters were more likely than males to play personal life-oriented roles, such as wife and mother. In contrast, male characters were more likely than females to play work-oriented roles, such as business executive.

Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film

Women Behind the Scenes

  • Women comprised 28% of all creators, directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and directors of photography working on broadcast network, cable, and streaming programs.
  • Women comprised 27% of all creators, directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and directors of photography working on broadcast network programs.
  • Overall, programs employed behind-the-scenes women in relatively small numbers. 50% of programs employed four or fewer women in the behind-the-scenes roles considered. In contrast, only 6% of programs employed four or fewer men. 3% of programs employed 14 or more women in the behind-the-scenes roles considered. In contrast, 47% of programs employed 14 or more men.
  • Across platforms, women fared best as producers (39%), followed by writers (33%), executive producers (28%), creators (23%), editors (22%), directors (17%), and directors of photography (3%).
  • Across platforms, 97% of the programs considered had no women directors of photography, 85% had no women directors, 75% had no women editors, 74% had no women creators, 67% had no women writers, 23% had no women producers, and 20% had no women executive producers.
  • On programs with at least one woman creator, females accounted for 51% of major characters. On programs with exclusively male creators, females accounted for 38% of major characters.
  • Regardless of platform, programs with at least one woman creator featured substantially higher percentages women in other key behind-the-scenes roles. For example, on programs with at least one woman creator, women comprised 57% of writers. On programs with exclusively male creators, women accounted for 21% of writers.
  • Across platforms, programs with at least one woman executive producer featured more female characters and had higher percentages of women directors and writers than programs with exclusively male executive producers. For example, on programs with at least one woman executive producer, women accounted for 18% of directors. On programs with exclusively male executive producers, women comprised 8% of directors.

Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film

  • Women represented 32% of first-time episodic directors. This is a sharp increase from last season’s 19 percent and is nearly three times the number of the 2009–10 season.
  • Non-white individuals comprised 25% of first-time episodic directors. This means that the number of first-time minority directors has doubled since 2009–10.

DGA

 

2015-2016 SEASON

Women on TV

  • Overall, 79% of the programs considered featured casts with more male than female characters. 5% had ensembles with equal numbers of female and male characters. 16% of the programs featured casts with more female than male characters.
  • The percentage of female characters featured on broadcast network programs last year was slightly below that achieved a decade ago (41% in 2015–16 vs. 42% in 2006–07).
  • The percentage of female characters with speaking roles was highest on broadcast network programs (41%), followed by streaming programs (38%), and cable programs (33%).
  • The percentage of major female characters appearing on broadcast network programs has declined since 2010–11. Females comprised 43% of major characters on broadcast network programs in 2010–11, 42% in 2014–15, and 41% in 2015–16.
  • Female characters were less likely than males to be portrayed as leaders, less likely than men to be seen at work and actually working, and more likely than men to be identified by their marital status.
  • Characters appearing on broadcast networks were more diverse than those appearing on cable channels and streaming services. For example, 71% of female characters on the broadcast networks were White versus 77% on cable and streaming services. 5% of female characters on broadcast network programs were Latina but only 3% of females on cable and streaming programs were Latina.
  • 71% of females were White (down six percentage points from 77% in 2014–15), 17% were Black (up two percentage points from 15%), 5% were Latina (up two percentage points from 3%), 5% were Asian (up one percentage point from 4%), and 2% were of some other race or ethnicity (up one percentage point from 1%)

Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film

Women Behind the Scenes

  • The employment of women working in key behind-the-scenes positions on broadcast network programs has stalled, with no meaningful progress over the last decade.
  • Women accounted for only 27% of all individuals working as creators, directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and directors of photography on broadcast network programs. In 2006–2007, that number was 26%.
  • 98% of series had no women directors of photography, 91% had no women directors, 78% had no women editors, 76% had no women creators, 71% had no women writers, 26% had no women producers, and 26% had no women executive producers.
  • 60% of programs employed 4 or fewer women in the behind-the scenes roles considered. In contrast, only 7% of programs employed 4 or fewer men. 1% of programs employed 14 or more women in the behind-thescenes roles considered. In contrast, 46% of the programs employed 14 or more men.
  • On programs with at least one woman creator, females accounted for 45% of all speaking characters. On programs with exclusively men creators, females comprised 36% of all characters.
  • On programs with at least one woman executive producer, females comprised 40% of all speaking characters. On programs with exclusively male executive producers, females accounted for 32% of all characters.
  • On programs with at least one woman executive producer, females accounted for 41% of major characters. On programs with exclusively male executive producers, females comprised 31% of major characters.
  • On programs with at least one woman creator, females accounted for 48% of major characters. On programs with exclusively male creators, females comprised 35% of major characters.
  • On programs with at least one woman creator, women accounted for 51% of writers, whereas on shows with exclusively male creators, women comprised 16% of writers.
  • The percentage of women working in key behind-the-scenes roles was highest on broadcast network programs (27%) and streaming programs (27%t), and lowest on cable programs (22%).

Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film

  • Women directed 17% of television episodes: Caucasian females directed 14% of episodes, and minority females directed 3%.

DGA

  • 81% of first-time episodic directors were male in the 2015-16 TV season.

DGA

 

2014-2015 Season

Women On TV

  • In 2014-15, female characters comprised 42% of all speaking characters on broadcast television programs and 40% of all characters on broadcast, cable, and Netflix programs.
  • Programs airing on ABC featured the highest percentage of female characters (45%), followed by CW (43%), NBC and Fox (40%), and CBS (39%).
  • Female characters continue to be portrayed as younger than their male counterparts. The majority of female characters were in their 20s and 30s (60%), whereas the majority of male characters were in their 30s and 40s (55%).
  • 77% of female characters were white, 15% were African-American, 3% were Latina, 4% were Asian, and 1% were of some other race or ethnicity.
  • 35% of female characters but only 24% of male characters had an unknown occupational status.

Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University

  • The 2014-2015 season saw less than proportionate representation of women among broadcast scripted leads and among digital scripted leads.
  • Women were underrepresented by nearly 2 to 1 among cable scripted leads.
  • Women were underrepresented by more than 3 to 1 among broadcast reality and other leads.
  • Women were underrepresented by more than 2 to 1 among cable reality and other leads.

Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies

Women Behind the Scenes

  • Women accounted for 27% of creators, directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and directors of photography working on broadcast programs and 25% of those working in these key roles on broadcast, cable, and Netflix programs.
  • On broadcast programs with no women executive producers, females accounted for 37% of major characters. On programs with at least one woman executive producer, females comprised 43% of major characters.
  • On broadcast programs with no women executive producers, women accounted for 6% of writers. On programs with at least one woman executive producer, women comprised 32% of writers.
  • Women fared best as producers (38%), followed by writers (26%), executive producers (26%), creators (23%), editors (21%), directors (14%), and directors of photography (2%)
  • 45% of programs employed 4 or fewer women in the roles considered. Only 4% of programs employed 4 or fewer men.

Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University

  • Women directed 16% of all episodes.
  • 84% of first-time episodic directors were male.
  • 27 series had 0% women and minority hires.
  • 3% of episodes were directed by minority females.

Directors Guild of America

  • Women were underrepresented by more than 2 to 1 among the creators of broadcast scripted shows.
  • Women were underrepresented by more than 2 to 1 among the creators of cable scripted shows.
  • Women were underrepresented by more than 2 to 1 among the creators of digital scripted shows.

Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies

 

2013-2014 SEASON

Women On TV

  • Women made up 42% of the characters and speaking roles.
  • Female characters continue to be portrayed as younger than their male counterparts.
  • 74% of female characters were white, 14% were African-American, 5% were Latina, 6% were Asian, and 1% were of some other race or ethnicity.

Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film

Women Behind the Scenes

  • Women comprised 27% of all individuals working as creators, directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and directors of photography.
  • Women created just 20% of all the shows.
  • Women account for 23% of all executive producers.
  • Women make up only 13% of directors, 17% of editors, and a paltry 2% of directors of photography.

Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film

Women directed 14% of episodes (DGA)

 

2012-2013 SEASON

Women On TV

  • 43% of all speaking characters and 43% of major characters were female.
  • Programs airing on the CW featured the highest percentage of female characters (51%), followed by Fox and ABC (44%), NBC (41%), and CBS (39%). The CW was the only network featuring female characters in accurate numerical proportion to their representation in the U.S. population.
  • 30% of female characters but only 19% of male characters were in their 20s. 22% of male characters but only 14% of female characters were in their 40s.
  • 78% of female characters were white, 12% were African-American, 5% were Latina, 3% were Asian, and 2% were of some other race or ethnicity.

Women Behind the Scenes

  • Women comprised 28% of all individuals working as creators, directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and directors of photography.
  • Women fared best as producers (38%), followed by writers (34%), executive producers (27%), creators (24%), editors (16%), directors (12%), and directors of photography (3%).

Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film

Women represent 14% of episodic TV directors — 2% minority women and 12% white women.

DGA