In its ninth annual report on "Black TV Viewing," the agency found that a significant disparity continues to exist between the prime-time preferences of blacks and all viewers, but that a significant crossover in preferences exists among young people of all races ages 12 to 17.
Only three of the top 20 prime-time shows in black households-ABC's "NFL Monday Night Football" and NBC's "Monday Night Movie" and "Fresh Prince of Bel Air"-were also among the most popular with total viewers.
But among teens ages 12 to 17, BBDO found that 14 of the top 20 programs are the same for black teens and all teens.
"When it comes to television, racial differences are secondary to generational differences-and young people of all races sense a kinship with one another that they may not share with older generations," said Doug Alligood, VP-special markets at BBDO. "Additionally, there is an irreverent, in-your-face attitude to these programs that appeals to young people."
The report finds the disparity between blacks and total households increases with age. Among black viewers ages 18 to 24, 10 of the top 20 shows are on the top 20 list of total viewers the same age; among persons ages 18 to 34 only seven shows appear on both lists; and among those ages 18 to 49, only two shows appear on both lists. It's not until viewers reach the 50-plus mark that preferences align again.
Fox and ABC dominated the top programs among blacks with eight and seven shows, respectively in the top 20. Fox's "Living Single" replaced NBC's "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" as the No. 1 program in black households.