CBS has touted its improvement in diversity with a number of its new slate featuring African American leads but has vowed to continue in its effort to become more representative.
The network unveiled a raft of new series this morning and it was noticeably more diverse than in previous seasons.
Chuck Lorre’s Bob ♥ Abishola stars Folake Olowofoyeku as the lead love interest of Billy Gardell’s Bob, a middle-aged compression sock businessman from Detroit who unexpectedly falls for his cardiac nurse, a Nigerian immigrant. Courthouse drama All Rise (left) stars Simone Missick as Judge Lola Carmichael, a highly regarded and impressive deputy district attorney who doesn’t intend to sit back on the bench in her new role, but instead leans in, immediately pushing the boundaries and challenging the expectations of what a judge can be. Psychological mystery drama Evil stars Mike Colter as a priest-in-training and a carpenter, who works with a skeptical female psychologist as they investigate the Church’s backlog of unexplained mysteries.
Thom Sherman, Senior Executive Vice President, Programming, CBS Entertainment, said, “The shows going on air have a lot of inclusivity and authentic representation and we’re very proud of the work that we’re doing and it won’t stop.”
CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl, speaking at the network’s press upfronts breakfast, added that the network would become more diverse once it had found a replacement for longtime head of casting Peter Golden, who departed this month following HR complaints. “We have some holes in casting and it will be more diverse because we committed to that and will continue in that effort,” he said.
This comes after the network promoted longtime programming and diversity executive, Jeanne Mau, to senior vice president of entertainment diversity and inclusion, earlier this month.