Genre TV Character Diversity Project Index Page
Show Diversity by Gender
Here I’m going to go over some results from this study on gender diversity in current genre tv shows. Remember, you can view the spreadsheet containing all the data here and read about the methods and definitions here.
A few general observations before delving into each show:
Unfortunately, none of the shows have nonbinary gender recurring or main characters of which I’m aware. My discussion is limited therefore to female and male characters.
Only 16% of the shows covered have a female majority of recurring characters. The most female recurring cast (Orphan Black) is barely above the halfway mark, at 54% female. Compare that to the most male cast (Supernatural) at 81% male - or, put another way, more than 4 times as many male as female recurring characters.
There are at least twice as many male as female main characters in 9 of the 25 shows covered (Supernatural, Doctor Who, Outlander, The Flash, Teen Wolf, Extant, Game of Thrones, Grimm, Penny Dreadful). On only 1 show do female main characters outnumber their male counterparts by the same margin (again, Orphan Black).
Almost twice as many shows have a male actor first billed in the opening credit compared to those lead by a female actor. Having a female lead, however, does not guarantee an overall gender balanced cast (e.g. Outlander, Continuum, Extant).
2 of the top 3 most female shows have just been officially or effectively cancelled (Witches of East End, In the Flesh). The 4th highest show is in its final season (Lost Girl).
[Discussion of shows after the jump...]