BBDO Worldwide's "Report on Black TV," in its 13th year, found the top three programs in black households were on Fox Broadcasting: "Between Brothers," "413 Hope Street" and "Living Single." Those shows tied for 98th place among total U.S. households.
In previous years, the report found more crossover shows appealing to African-American teens and overall U.S. households.
`These findings don't portend any broadening of the racial divide in America," said Doug Alligood, senior VP-special markets at BBDO. "What they do reflect is a maturing of the television medium in which viewers, particularly black viewers, have more network programs to choose from than ever before [that are] in synch with the style, language and attitudes that have been called the black experience, particularly among younger people."
Despite Fox's high share of African-American viewing, CBS grabbed six shows among the top 20 programs among black households, up from two last year. ABC fell to having just one longtime favorite among blacks, "NFL Monday Night Football," from five in the 1996-97 season.
Among the top 20 for both African-American households and total households, there were just four crossover shows, according to the BBDO report: "NFL Monday Night Football," CBS' "Touched by an Angel," the "CBS Sunday Movie" and NBC's "ER."