FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA) is a non-profit organization and receives neither direct financial support from the government nor any media corporation. Only through membership dues and the generous donations of individuals and organizations is MANAA able to meet its Goals & Objectives in serving the Asian American community.
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Mailing Address: (Please note our new address) MANAA P.O. Box 6188 Burbank, CA 91510
April 24, 2015
Mr. Paul Lee
President, ABC Entertainment Group
500 S. Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
I hope this letter finds you well. Congratulations on an historic year for ABC.
You should rightfully be proud of showing the industry that new series starring people of color–“How To Get Away With Murder,” “Black-ish,” and “Fresh Off The Boat”—can be successful and that this model needs to be emulated if networks are to appeal to the ever-changing racial and cultural demographics of this country.
As you probably know, there have been several community screenings of “FOTB” in New York and Los Angeles, with hundreds having to be turned away. The night of its February 4 preview, #FreshOffTheBoat was the most popular twitter subject in the country even dethroning #BrianWilliamsMisremembers.
Obviously, Asian Americans have gravitated toward “FOTB,” the first Asian American sitcom in over 20 years. Nielsen tells me that for its first 7 episodes, 19.4% of all Asian American households watched at least one episode within 7 days and for the first 8 episodes, they over-indexed at 227, meaning Asian Americans were 127% more likely to watch the series within 7 days.
During that time, white and black audiences were also watching the sitcom in greater proportion to their populations.
“FOTB” is a favorite of the critics, many of whom (e.g., Hollywood Reporter, Daily Variety, Huffington Post, Boston Herald) called it one of the best shows—if not the best show–of the season. Time found it “damn funny… Three episodes in, it’s the best broadcast comedy of the new season… a show with more voice after three episodes than most sitcoms have after three years.” Robert Lloyd of the Los Angeles Times wrote: “’Fresh Off the Boat’ does what few television shows do now, which is to make race not beside the point. It sits inside a minority culture and looks with bewilderment and bemusement at the dominant one… it’s a consistently funny and even important one, with some lovely, nuanced performances.”
It’s a prestigious show that you cannot afford to lose.
Despite being put in the tough Tuesday night 8 p.m. hour with no lead-in, new episodes of “FOTB” average a 1.73 Live+same day rating in the 18-49 age group, but jump to a 2.2 with Live+7 numbers, which consistently increased each of the past six weeks. Its 18-49 Live+SameDay and total viewership numbers always beat competitors “MasterChef Junior,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “The Flash,” and “Parks and Recreation.” “FOTB” is ABC’s top Tuesday night show, as well as the most popular comedy of the night outperforming “New Girl,” “The Mindy Project,” “Undateable,” “One Big Happy,” “Repeat After Me,” “Weird Loners” and (in the 18-49) even re-runs of “NCIS.”
Impressively, “FOTB” held its 1.8 rating on February 24 even with the return of NBC’s “The Voice.” “FOTB’s” last three episodes have increased its 18-49 numbers. Also, its 18-49 and total viewership numbers are better than last season’s “The Goldbergs” (1.73, 5.75 million total vs. 1.68, 5 million total), which you renewed.
Last season, “The Goldbergs” held the Tuesday 9 p.m. slot but improved impressively when moved this season to Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. (up 30.87% to a 2.2 and up 39.94% in total viewers to 7.08 million) with “The Middle” as its lead-in vs. the less compatible “S.H.I.E.L.D.” Perhaps next season “FOTB” would also benefit from having a strong, compatible lead-in?
Given all of these considerations, we hope you will renew “Fresh Off The Boat” and give it sufficient promotion to ensure its long-term success. Thank you for your consideration.
Founding President, MANAA
cc: Samie Falvey
April 17, 2015
Ms. Nina Tassler
Chairman, CBS Entertainment
4024 Radford Avenue
Studio City, CA 91604
I hope this letter finds you well. Over the years, under your leadership, CBS has made great strides in including Asian Americans as regulars of its drama, comedy, and reality series. The two CBS shows which feature Asian Americans in the most significant roles are “Stalker” with Maggie Q and “Elementary” co-starring Lucy Liu. As Lt. Beth Davis and Joan Watson, respectively, their stories very often drive the narrative of the main plot of the week and both defy the traditional way Asian American women have been portrayed in the media. Davis is no shrinking violet and commands the anti-stalking unit of the Los Angeles police force, and Watson displays her own talent at solving crimes even under the formidable shadow of the legendary Sherlock Holmes and is not cast primarily as the love interest of anyone.
However, both series have not had strong 18-49 ratings, and we are concerned about their chances for renewal for the 2015-2016 season.
New episodes of “Stalker” average a 1.53 Live+same day rating in the 18-49 age group, but jump 62% to a 2.48 with Live+7 numbers. It usually beats NBC’s “Chicago P.D.” (which has already been renewed for the Fall) and ABC’s “Nashville.” “Stalker’s” last new episode (which aired February 18) fell to an all-time low of 1.15, but that was due to the weak lead-in of the two hour finale of “The Mentalist,” which averaged a 1.28, the lowest 9 p.m. rating for any CBS first-run episode all season.
Though new episodes of “Elementary” average a 1.3 Live+same day rating in the 18-49 demo, the Live+7 audience jumps 85% to a 2.42. The show was probably hurt by beginning Season 3 a month later than usual (October 30) and a weak lead-in from “The McCarthys,” which was pulled from the schedule in February (perhaps a drama lead-in would be more helpful next season?). “Elementary” has done considerably better in the 2015 calendar year than the Fall of 2014, perhaps due to viewer unhappiness with the dominance of the Kitty character (Opehlia Lovibond), whose storyline ended in January. “Elementary” is currently beating its competition on ABC (“American Crime”) and NBC (“The Slap,” “Dateline”) and is getting closer to producing enough episodes so it can be sold into syndication. In addition, we are happy that co-star Lucy Liu has been able to demonstrate her impressive talents as a director on the show.
Given these considerations, we hope you will renew both “Stalker” and “Elementary” and give them sufficient promotion to ensure their long-term success. We would also like to see more Asian American guest stars as, for some reason, they have been sparse on those shows. Thank you for your consideration.
Founding President, MANAA
Cc: Christina Davis
MANAA’s General Meeting is Thursday, April 16th. The monthly general meeting starts at 7:30 PM, in the upstairs meeting room of the Chinatown Public Safety Association. We welcome your input and thoughts on pressing issues regarding the portrayal of Asian Americans in print, radio, television and movies.
MANAA is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to monitoring the media and advocating balanced, sensitive, and positive coverage and portrayals of Asian Americans. Formed in 1992, it has pushed the television and motion picture industries to include more Asian Americans in their projects and educated Hollywood about the stereotypes that have often plagued the APA community.
The easiest way to find out what is going on at MANAA and how to participate is to visit one of our monthly meetings (third Thursday of each month; second Thursday in December). The monthly general meeting start at 7:30 PM are currently held in the the upstairs meeting room of the Chinatown Public Safety Association in Los Angeles Chinatown. We welcome your input and thoughts on pressing issues regarding the portrayal of Asian Americans in print, radio, television and movies. MANAA is also looking for volunteers to help:
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MANAA’s General Meeting is Thursday, March 19th. The monthly general meeting starts at 7:30 PM, in the upstairs meeting room of the Chinatown Public Safety Association. We welcome your input and thoughts on pressing issues regarding the portrayal of Asian Americans in print, radio, television and movies.
MANAA’s General Meeting is Thursday, February 19th. The monthly general meeting starts at 7:30 PM, in the upstairs meeting room of the Chinatown Public Safety Association. We welcome your input and thoughts on pressing issues regarding the portrayal of Asian Americans in print, radio, television and movies.
MANAA’s General Meeting is Thursday, January 15th. The monthly general meeting starts at 7:30 PM, in the upstairs meeting room of the Chinatown Public Safety Association. We welcome your input and thoughts on pressing issues regarding the portrayal of Asian Americans in print, radio, television and movies.