The new season of TV programing is sporting a decidedly more ‘colorful’ look, with non-white creators, producers, and/or lead characters being featured on a number of recently launched series. Among all the major networks, ABC appears to be contributing the most to this trend toward diversity. Not only are they signed on for another new series by famed African American producer/director/writer Shonda Rhimes, titled How to Get Away With Murder, they are also credited with reviving the TV presence of the non-white middle-class family, with new shows about African (Black-ish), Latino- (Cristela), and Asian- (Fresh off the Boat) American families. Most critics, though welcoming of this change, are hesitant to mark this as “progress.” What might social scientists think about this?

Though it’s been a few years, shows like Black-ish, Cristela, and Fresh off the Boat aren’t the first we’re seeing of non-white middle class families on TV. Herman Gray has written extensively, and critically, about television’s discourse on “diversity” and “blackness” and the role played by artists of color in the production process.
Looking more broadly, scholars like Catherine R. Squires write critically about the ways we as a supposedly “post-racial” society now consume those discourses about “diversity” and “multiculturalism” on TV: