Creative Artists Agency and Parrot Analytics publish landmark study that finds demand for TV shows with more diverse talent has doubled in the last three years

4 October, 2020

Since 2017, Audience Demand for Diverse U.S. Scripted Debuts has More Than Doubled And for the First Time Ever, the Supply of Diverse Debuts Surpassed Non-Diverse Debuts in 2019

CANNES (October 5, 2020) – Leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and global entertainment analytics leader Parrot Analytics today announced findings from their joint landmark report on the demand for television content featuring diverse on-screen talent.

CAA’s Head of Data, Andre Vargas, was joined by Jaime Feld and Ben Dey, Co-Heads of CAA’s Television Talent department, along with representatives from Parrot Analytics to make the announcement at MIPCOM Online+. The CAA/Parrot Analytics study reveals that, since 2017, diverse debuts* have grown to surpass non-diverse titles, and that by 2019, the demand for diverse debuts among the Top 100** had doubled, surpassing non-diverse titles for the first time.

“This study solidifies what we’ve known for some time – diversity wins onscreen,” said Kevin Huvane, Co-Chairman, CAA. “CAA will continue leading the industry in prioritizing diversity in our client work, while also encouraging storytellers and business partners to tell stories onscreen that authentically represent the audiences who are watching.”

“We are proud to partner with CAA to help move the industry towards a more equitable future for all talent,” shares Wared Seger, CEO & Co-Founder, Parrot Analytics. “We remain committed to our long-term objective to showcase the value of diversity and inclusion as we continue to unlock the magic of content for our partners around the globe.”

The CAA/Parrot Analytics study further demonstrates that diverse tentpoles, defined as the top 25 most in-demand U.S. scripted debuts in any given year, have taken the lead in demand over non-diverse tentpoles. Yet not all racial and ethnic groups are equally well represented in scripted debuts. Despite being one of the fastest growing demographics in the U.S., Hispanics and Latinos were significantly underrepresented. While 18 percent of the U.S. population is Hispanic or Latino (U.S. Census 2019), this group is underrepresented with only 5 percent of actors in scripted debuts for the period 2017-2019. Conversely, the study found that whites were overrepresented with 60 percent of the population per the census and 65 percent of talent.

In presenting the report’s findings, Parrot Analytics Insights Analyst Dr. Nicole Zamanzadeh remarked: “Our study empirically evidences that successful shows today are at least as diverse as the US population. Using the world’s only global measurement system of demand, we empower our partners to listen to the rich tapestry of audiences to nimbly respond to the challenges and opportunities of an ever-changing entertainment industry. This study exemplifies why our empirical metric of observed behaviors is so important.”

Additional findings from the CAA/Parrot Analytics study include:

  • Audience demand for shows with diverse casts (+112.5%) has grown faster than the industry’s supply of shows with diverse casts (+42%).
  • Since 2017, the demand for highly diverse debuts (above 60 percent cast diversity) has more than tripled (+211%) outperforming both non-diverse debuts (below 40 percent cast diversity) and moderately diverse debuts (greater than 40 percent but less than 60 percent cast diversity).
  • In the study, only diverse broadcast debuts consistently outperformed and were more in-demand than non-diverse debuts between 2017 and 2019.
  • The portion of broadcast debuts’ diverse series regular talent has steadily remained above 40 percent, the highest of any platform.
  • Since 2017, cable’s diverse debuts have more than doubled in demand.
  • While demand for diverse debuts has doubled, cable’s talent diversity in its debut’s series regular casts has slightly declined.
  • In 2019, for the first time, streamers’ diverse debuts were more in-demand than their non-diverse debuts.
  • Streamers have steadily increased their percentage of talent diversity in debut series regular casts.
  • Streamers’ increasing number of highly diverse debuts (more than 60 percent diverse cast) corresponds with a greater share of streaming titles in the top 100 debuts. Streamers released 2.5 times more highly diverse debuts in 2019 than 2017.

“It’s incredibly important for us as a company to use data to help inform clients’ decisions across film, TV, music, sports, and more,” said André Vargas, Head of Data, CAA. “We have had a longtime focus on diversity backed with real data, which is why we are excited that this first-of-its-kind study led by CAA and Parrot Analytics will help guide the agency and industry as a whole as we continue to push for greater diversity onscreen.”

A leader in the promotion of inclusion and equity, CAA has long focused on the issue of diversity to create sustainable change within the industry. Further accelerating the path to success for promising diverse writers, CAA developed the Television Showrunner Mentorship Program in 2019. The six-month program included more than three dozen diverse, mid-level writer clients, each paired with a showrunner mentor, to provide support and knowledge to help navigate careers toward showrunning. CAA has also developed a series of programs, including The Writers Boot Camp, a full-day workshop designed to help accelerate the careers of diverse, emerging television writers; and the Creators Summit Series, comprised of networking and educational events hosted in partnership with leading diversity organizations to provide greater access and opportunities to underrepresented voices.

In June 2017, CAA issued the CAA Motion Picture Cast Diversity Index. The primary goal of this research was to determine the correlative factors of diverse casting, diverse audiences, and box office success; and their broader implications on the business case for diversity in motion picture programming. The Index includes 845 theatrical films released from January 2014 through Dec ember 2019 and focuses on cast ethnicity for 8,165 actors/actresses. It is updated and re-evaluated quarterly. At least 70 percent of the top 10-grossing films in 2014-2019 delivered opening weekend audiences that were more than 50 percent non-white. As measured by domestic opening weekend box office, at every budget level, a cast that is at least 30 percent non-white outperforms a release that is not. Furthermore, among films at the $100 million+ budget level, the cumulative worldwide box office for those with a more diverse cast was $608 million, contrasted with the less-diverse cast films which averaged $492 million, a striking $116 million difference.

In December 2018, CAA partnered with tech-forward innovation company shift7 to examine the correlation between female-led films and box office success, as well as the box office implications of films that pass the Bechdel Test, a measure of the representation of women in film, television and other works of fiction. Building upon the agency’s CAA Motion Picture Cast Diversity Index, the data analysis looked at the top-grossing U.S. films released between January 2014 to December 2017, and found that female-led films outperformed male-led films at all budget levels. The team examined 350 top grossing films released between 2014 – 2017, for which budget data had been reported in Studio System by Gracenote, and found that in every budget level category, films with female leads performed better in worldwide box office averages. Additionally, when compared by total box office results, the analysis found that films that passed the Bechdel Test outperformed films that failed. Further, the research showed that every film that surpassed $1 billion in global box office also passed the Bechdel Test.

* Diverse Debuts refer to debuts in which at least 40 percent of the talent of its series regular cast is categorized as diverse. This is consistent with the U.S. Census 2019 estimates that 40 percent of the population is nonwhite or diverse. Diverse debuts must at least reflect the diversity in the US population. ** Parrot Analytics annual top 100 most in-demand scripted debuts in the United States.


Creative Artists Agency (CAA) is the leading entertainment and sports agency, with global expertise in filmed and live entertainment, digital media, publishing, sponsorship sales and endorsements, media finance, consumer investing, fashion, trademark licensing, and philanthropy. Distinguished by its culture of collaboration and exceptional client service, CAA’s diverse workforce identifies, innovates, and amplifies opportunities for the people and organizations that shape culture and inspire the world. The trailblazer of the agency business, CAA was the first to build a sports business, create an investment bank, launch a venture fund, found technology start-up companies, establish a philanthropic arm, build a business in China, and form a brand marketing services division, among other innovations. Named Most Valuable Sports Agency by Forbes for seven consecutive years, CAA represents more than 2,000 of the world’s top athletes in football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, Olympics and action sports, in addition to coaches, on-air broadcasters, and sports personalities and works in the areas of broadcast rights, corporate marketing initiatives, social impact, and sports properties for sales and sponsorship opportunities. Founded in 1975, CAA is headquartered in Los Angeles, and has offices in New York, Nashville, Memphis, Chicago, Miami, London, Munich, Geneva, Stockholm, Shanghai, and Beijing, among other locations globally. For more information, please visit

For more information from CAA, please contact:

MoMo Zhou, CAA, 424.288.2000


Parrot Analytics is the leading global content demand analytics company for the multi-platform TV business. With the world’s largest TV audience demand datasets, the company currently tracks more than 1.5B daily expressions of demand in over 100 languages from 200+ countries. With Parrot Analytics’ DEMAND360 platform, everyone from individuals to global media powerhouses can access insights to help better understand the global demand for content across all platforms, as well as drive better production, distribution, acquisition and marketing decisions, and increased subscriber growth and retention. The company has offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, Mexico City, São Paulo and Auckland. Connect with us on YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter. For more information, see

For more information from Parrot Analytics, please contact:

Samuel Stadler, Parrot Analytics, 310 651 8158

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