ABC will have 207 regular actors, hosts, judges, and professional dancers on its 2011-2012 schedule with 48 roles filled by people of color.
Of that, Kerry Washington will be the lone African American female lead (in Scandal) with Elizabeth Vargas anchoring 20/20, and Sofia Vergara and Eva Longoria as major characters in their ensemble shows, Modern Family and Desperate Housewives.
Amaury Nolasco will be 2nd lead on Work It, and the sole API male on the fall sched will be Cliff Curtis in Missing. The bulk of the API females seen on TV this season will be on Monday night, with its shows Dancing with the Stars and Body of Proof (the latter featuring Carrie Anna Inaba, Brooke Burke, Cheryl Burke, and Sonja Sohn). Sandra Oh of Grey’s Anatomy brings the total of APIs on ABC at 7, with Vanessa Minnillo recently being named host of Wipe Out!.
The percentage of approximately 23% people of color for ABC exceeds CBS’s 17% and NBC’s 22%, but not FOX, which has a percentage of 27.5% people of color employed next fall. (See FOX breakdown here)
CBS will have 135 regular spots with 23 filled by people of color. Two APIs join the network, Matthew Moy in Two Broke Girls and Daya Vaidya in The Unforgotten. Returning to CBS are Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim on Hawaii Five-0, Emmy winner Archie Panjabi on The Good Wife, Julie Chen hosting Big Brother, Tim Kang on The Mentalist, Adhir Kalyan on Rules of Engagement, and Kunal Nayyar on The Big Bang Theory.
LL Cool J (NCIS: Los Angeles), Byron Pitts (60 minutes), and Troy Roberts (48 Hours Mystery) will likely have the highest profiles out of the 23 people of color. As reported Laurence Fishburne has left CSI.
Cedric the Entertainer will join Nick Cannon of America’s Got Talent as the highest-profile persons of color at NBC. Cedric will host It’s Worth What?. Reality seems to be where we see POC are more in the limelight, with Cee-Lo Green and Christina Aguillera on The Voice, Cara Castronuova, a trainer on The Biggest Loser, and Today show host Ann Curry contributing to Dateline.
Of the 42 people of color on the schedule for 2011-2012 thus far, there are 12 APIs, with Mindy Kaling as the only API female in a scripted series.