Closing AAPI Heritage Month on a positive note, programs with an Asian American or Pacific Islander character in a leading role were in more demand this year than they were in 2020. According to Parrot Analytics, the Demand for Top 10 Kids & Families Shows with AAPI leads increased 8.7% between January 1 and May 25 of this year, compared to the same time 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 regained its popularity thanks to its availability on Netflix; NPD says it was the most-watched children’s series on the streamer in the United States last year. To keep the momentum going at a steady pace, Nickelodeon recently launched Avatar Studios to produce even more content for the brand.
The rest of the AAPI-led series ranking in the top 10 is also geared towards core kids, including (in order) Hypermarket, Amphibians, 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 statistics from Parrot suggesting that the global demand for more diversity in children’s content is on the rise; Series with various character mixes were 58% more in demand in 2020 than in 2019.
But there is still work to be done to portray Asian characters on screen, as 40% of Asian children disagree with the portrayal of their origins and cultures in today’s media.
Exclusive to Kidscreen, these latest statistics are based on Common Sense’s database of Children and Families with AAPI Leads. Parrot uses a proprietary algorithm that measures hacked and legitimate feeds, social media posts, views, and interactions, among other metrics. The shows are then weighted against the average to determine a ranking.