CBS is taking diversity more seriously for its slate of unscripted series.
The network announced Monday a target for all future unscripted programs to have casts with at least 50% of the contestants being Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), beginning in the 2021-2022 broadcast season.
The network 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 the 2021-2022 season.
On top of that, CBS will develop future initiatives with its production partners to expand diversity in all of the creative and production teams involved in making an unscripted series.
“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 Chief Executive Officer 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.”
The initiatives announced today come months after CBS said it would be doing similar with its scripted offerings.
It said will allocate a minimum of 25% of its future script development budgets to projects created or co-created by Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC).
There will also be changes in its writers’ rooms, which have a target to be staffed with a minimum of 40% BIPOC representation beginning with the 2021-2022 broadcast television season, and a goal to increase that number to 50% the following season (2022-2023).
The latest announcements come as the network’s reality series have been heavily criticized for a lack of diversity.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.