TV Industry Needs To Produce More Quality Multicultural Programming: NAMIC Panelists

Executives say minority groups not fully reflected on small screen
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New York -- With the continued growth of the multicultural population in the U.S., the television industry should be producing more quality, diversity-themed television programming that reflects the views and culture of multicultural audiences, according to several television executives speaking at the 24th Annual NAMIC conference here Wednesday.

Panelists speaking at the programming-focused "The New Original" general session lamented the lack of television shows targeted African-American, Hispanic-American and Asian-American viewers. Ligiah Villalobos, writer/producer for Nickelodeon's animated toddler-targeted series Go Diego Go, said the networks are still unwilling to take risks in developing such programming even though there's a desire among multicultural audiences to see their images and stories on the small screen.

Villalobos added that the U.S. Latino population is expected to hit 50 million in the near future, yet there are no Latino-themed primetime shows on the major English-language cable and broadcast television networks.

"There's a myth that a lot of the studios believe that Latinos just want to assimilate, and that's why they're very fearful of developing programming specifically targeting us," she said. "What you try to do [as producers] is try to prove to them that our people want to see our shows."

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