Samba TV: Diversity in Content Draws Audiences

Netflix’s new LGBTQ+ comedy “Uncoupled,” starring Neil Patrick Harris as a 40-year-old gay man who re-enters single life in New York City after his husband of 17 years divorces him, appears to be resonating among viewers looking for content featuring alternative characters.

New data from Samba TV found that 518,000 U.S. households streamed the July 29 show debut in the live plus three-day (L+3D) window. The series was streamed by another 50,000 households in Great Britain, 18,000 homes in Germany and 4,000 homes in Australia.

Of the top 25 largest designated market areas, San Francisco over-indexed the most (+85%), followed by Chicago (+55%) and Washington, D.C. (+34%).

Cole Strain, VP of measurement products at Samba TV, contends the data shows that programs starring LGBTQ+ characters attract a valuable, diverse audience, and streamers seem to be taking note.

“Netflix’s new [show] is the latest example of a top series starring a leading LGBTQ+ character [resonating] with significant LGBTQ+ populations more likely than the average U.S. household,” Strain said in a statement.

At the same time, “Uncoupled” found itself in the midst of controversy about ethnic stereotyping before the first episode even streamed.

Actress Ada Maris, who was cast for the role of Carmen, an older Latina housekeeper for lead character Michael, played by Harris, was reportedly so insulted by her character’s dialog, she wrote an open letter to Harris and the show’s producer Darren Star (“Beverly Hills, 90210,” “Sex and the City,” and “Emily in Paris,”) to complain.

Netflix dropped the Carmen character from the show.

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