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CBS Shares Plans for BIPOC Representation on Reality Shows

CBS eye
(Image credit: CBS)

CBS has set a target for all future unscripted programs to have casts at least 50% Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) starting in the 2021-2022 season. CBS will also allocate at least a quarter of its annual unscripted development budget to projects created or co-created by BIPOC producers, also starting in 2021-2022.

“The reality TV genre is an area that’s especially underrepresented, and needs to be more inclusive across development, casting, production and all phases of storytelling,” said George Cheeks, president and CEO for the CBS Entertainment Group. “As we strive to improve all of these creative aspects, the commitments announced today are important first steps in sourcing new voices to create content and further expanding the diversity in our unscripted programming, as well as on our network.”

CBS’s unscripted shows include Big Brother, Survivor and The Amazing Race

In July, CBS said it will allocate a minimum of 25% of its future script development budgets to projects created or co-created by BIPOC individuals. CBS also set a target for its writers’ rooms to be staffed with a minimum of 40% BIPOC representation beginning with the 2021-2022 broadcast television season, and 50% for 2022-2023.

CBS Studios has entered into a multi-year partnership with the NAACP to establish a production venture. It also signed an exclusive agreement with 21CP Solutions, a group specializing in police reform efforts in the U.S., to advise on its police and legal dramas.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.