Professor: Dr. Roger Klein
Media Psychology: PSY 1050
Latino and Minority Regular Characters on Prime-Time Television
Prime-time network television remains one of the most popular sources for our society to
connect us to the world around us. Even with the increasing popularity of the internet, people
continue to watch television. Among all television projects, networks mostly focus on programs
which air at prime-time due to the bigger audiences which they receive. Every television show,
regardless of genre, definitely includes regular characters whose lives serve as the central point
of each episode, and secondary characters. Prime-time regular characters as a whole can be
considered as a micro-projection of our society. The UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center
started researching the ethnic landscape of prime-time television in 2002. Based on the collected
information, they created a report, which consists of charts which clearly demonstrate ethnic
distribution on the prime-time television shows. Authors based their research on the two year
statistical information for the six main commercial networks: ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, UPN, and
WB. Researchers were especially interested in how race was depicted on-screen through regular
characters on numerous sitcoms, reality programs, dramas, news, sports events and specials.
Although the authors present statistics on regular characters for all minority ethnic and racial
groups, they specifically targeted Latino regular characters (LRCs) in their research.
The Latino population is one of the fastest growing in United States lately, and the report
illustrates that according to the statistics, in 2004 Los Angeles county region had a 45% Latino
population, and 27% of New York City populations were of Latino origin. Nonetheless, LRCs
have been slightly presented on CBS and NBC and are almost no noticeable on FOX, WB, and
UPN. The same trend can be noticed this year fall season.
a prime-time series on NBC,