Ending AAPI Heritage Month on a positive note, programming with an Asian American or Pacific Islander character in a lead role have been more in-demand this year than they were in 2020. According to Parrot Analytics, demand for the top-10 kids and family shows with AAPI leads was up by 8.7% between January 1 and May 25 this year, compared to the same period in 2020.
Topping the list was Avatar: The Last Airbender, which was 24.1 times more in-demand than the average show. This Nickelodeon series originally aired between 2005 and 2008, but has resurged in popularity thanks to its availability on Netflix; NPD says it was the most-watched kids series on the streamer in the US last year. To keep the momentum revving on high, Nickelodeon recently launched Avatar Studios to churn out even more content for the brand.
The rest of the top-10 AAPI-led series ranking also skews towards core kids, including (in order) Superstore, Amphibia, Samurai Jack, Fresh off the Boat, Shadow and Bone, Young Rock, Big Hero 6: The Series, Andi Mack and Blue’s Clues and You.
This is in line with previous Parrot statistics suggesting that overall demand for more diversity in kids content is on the rise; series with diverse character mixes were 58% more in-demand in 2020 than in 2019.
But there’s still work that needs to be done when it comes to representing Asian characters on screen, since 40% of Asian kids disagree with the portrayals of their backgrounds and cultures in current media.
Exclusive to Kidscreen, these latest statistics are based on Common Sense’s database of kids and family series with AAPI leads. Parrot uses a proprietary algorithm that measures pirated and legitimate streams, social media posts, views and interactions, among other metrics. Shows are then weighted against the average to determine a ranking.