A new study reveals that another group is being spurned by TV. The group is seniors.
Senior characters are “dramatically underrepresented on popular television, according to a new study from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism,” Variety reports. “Looking at a sampling of 72 shows — a mix of the most popular series according to Nielsen ratings in the 18-49 demo and with viewers 65 and older — the study, titled ‘Seniors on the Small Screen: Aging in Popular Television,’ found that people ages 60 and older made up only 9.4% of speaking roles, despite making up 19.9% of the U.S. population, according to the U.S. census.”
One episode of each series was examined, and only three of the 72 shows surveyed came within two percentage points of 19.9%, Variety reports.
“Seniors accounted for only 8.2% of series-regular roles on the shows surveyed,” Variety notes. “Among senior roles, diversity was scarce. Only 30% of all roles for characters ages 60 and older were female. Thirty-eight of the 72 programs surveyed had no female senior role.”