TV Statistics

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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