The inner workings of our changing world have always had strong effects on pop culture. From the presidency of Barack Obama to pivotal findings in science and technology, TV programming lead by ABC has reflected said milestones with diverse hit shows. Thanks to the status of president-elect Donald Trump, however, the network is now looking to target its debatable untapped rural audience.
Vulture reports at the Content London media summit on Tuesday (Nov. 30,) new ABC Programming president Channing Dungey made a comment to reflect the idea flashy dramas like Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder and Greys Anatomy don’t represent everyday blue collar folks. “With our dramas, we have a lot of shows that feature very well-to-do, well-educated people, who are driving very nice cars and living in extremely nice places,” Dungey said. “There is definitely still room for that, and we absolutely want to continue to tell those stories because wish-fulfillment is a critical part of what we do as entertainers. But in recent history we haven’t paid enough attention to some of the true realities of what life is like for everyday Americans in our dramas.”
The network lead the pack with diversity programming over the years with half-hour comedies like Black-ish and Modern Family. They’ve also found a substantial audience among the lower class with comedies like The Middle and Speechless. Despite their winning streak, Dungey hopes to find a “balance” between the two in the drama department. White rural and blue-collar voters proved to be the silent majority in this year’s presidential election as they gravitated toward the ideals of the president-elect. We’re more than curious to see what shows will pander to them, as the past proved audience were over shows that highlighted rural characters.
During the 1960’s, networks like CBS looked towards ABC and NBC as the catalyst for hip and diverse programming. The traditional network dropped shows like Lassie, Green Acres and Petticoat Junction and replaced with future classics like Good Times, All In The Family and The Mary Tyler Moore Show in a move known as ” the rural purge.”
While we’re sure ABC won’t plant boring farm dramas, it will be interesting to see what the network does next.
Currently, the network is planning to release the LGBT-themed miniseries When We Rise, a demographic Dungey says is “more important to share than ever.”