Just a few weeks after 9/11, American television reflected the new world that emerged after the fall of the Twin Towers in series such as The west wing of the White House Y Duty shift. A decade and a half later, after the victory in the presidential elections of Donald Trump, several series of military settings were released, such as SEAL Team (available on Fox) and The Brave (in AXN), with which the chains intended to reach the voter who longed to see America great again. Executives of free-to-air television networks in the United States seem to continue to rely on their survival to reflect socio-cultural changes as soon as possible. In a recent report carried out by the consultancy Ampere Analysis with the title of Greenlight: Getting Your TV Project from Page to Market There is an illuminating analysis of the consequences of the Me Too movement in the universes drawn by these fictions.
After analyzing 251 series in development or in production of the open chains of the United States, Ampere Analysis found that 42% of them had as exclusive protagonist a woman, by 20% with a male character in front (the rest are couples, families or teams). But it is not only about quantity, but about a quality manifested in the variety of their roles. In front of the masculine protagonists, who in their immense majority are agents of law, in these new projects there are also journalists, lawyers, doctors, saleswomen, social assistants, businesswomen, artists, professors … Up to two projects rival in showing to trainers of male basketball teams. In the words of report author Guy Bisson, director of Ampere Analysis Research, "while female roles probably reflect the social-political direction of society at this time, male roles are perhaps a reflection of the predominant political direction of women. the USA as a whole. "
This female wave is not related only to the Me Too movement or the historic demonstrations of March 8 last year, but also to the transformative impulse that has led women in record numbers to the US Congress after the elections of November 6. In fact, the congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, that with 29 years has become the icon of this renewing wave, already seems to have inspired a series.
Just months after its victory in the Democratic primary of one of the districts of New York with more Hispanic population, the CBS chain put in development Ms. Mayor, about a young activist who, against all odds, takes over the mayoralty of the Big Apple. Its creator is Barbara Hall, a veteran in telling stories of women with political power: Madam Secretary (in Movistar Series), in which Téa Leoni plays Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord, is already in its fifth season. Ms. Mayor It is just one of the many projects with real women as a point of origin. Marcia Clark, whose ordeal at the hands of machismo institutionalized in the judicial system and the press was portrayed in American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson (available on Netflix), is the co-creator and inspiration of The Fix, whose premiere is announced for March on the ABC network.
At an earlier stage of development is found on NBC Strong Justice. African-American screenwriter Wendy Calhoun, her creator, is based on Ethel McGuire and Marlo McGuire Graham, mother and daughter and both special agents of the FBI. Telling their stories in two different time periods, the protagonists fight against machismo and racism as well as catch criminals.
Many of these projects with female protagonists (and led by women behind the scenes) are offering a portrait characterized by diversity. And the congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not the only Latina in which fiction has been fixed: 100 Days Without Fear (Fox) adapts the popular blog of the influencer of Venezuelan origin Michelle Poler. Diversity and having new voices are elements that the Ampere Analysis consultancy determines as favorable to set up a series in the international market, especially in such a saturated market. And there seems to be no shortage of women to inspire and write the series of tomorrow.
Concepción Cascajosa is a professor of Audiovisual Communication at the Carlos III University of Madrid.