tv screen grid with different images on each screen and hand holding remote
The data-driven list ranks inclusive series, channels, streamers, and producers across more than 500 programs including OWN, CW, ABC, Netflix, Amazon Prime and HBO/MAX

Annenberg Inclusion Initiative partners with the Adobe Foundation to announce a first-of-its-kind inclusion list for episodic programming

As the entertainment industry prepares to celebrate this year’s Emmy Award winners, Associate Professor of Communication Stacy L. Smith, the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, and the Adobe Foundation are recognizing a different set of achievements. Today, the groups announced The Inclusion List, a first-ever data-driven ranking system that honors the most inclusive series across broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms.

The Inclusion List, appearing at, uses data regarding on-screen and behind-the-camera personnel to determine the 100 most inclusive broadcast and cable series from the 2021-22 broadcast season and streaming series from 2021 to 2023. The website also highlights 20 individuals as the top producers for inclusion across the time frame evaluated.

“The goal of the Inclusion List is to recognize the stories and storytellers who are taking inclusion seriously and whose content reflects their values,” said Stacy L. Smith, founder of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. “With today’s release of the Inclusion List for broadcast/cable and streaming series, we are excited to acknowledge the creative voices championing inclusion across the spectrum of episodic content.”

To form the list, the research team scored more than 560 series airing on broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms across 15 inclusion indicators. The highest-scoring series received top honors. The indicators ranked gender, race/ethnicity, LGBTQ+, disability, and age representation for series regular cast. Behind the scenes, gender and race/ethnicity were assessed across 10 positions to create a crew score. Those ten positions were: Director, Writer, Producer, Cinematographer, Editor, Composer, Costume Designer, Production Designer, Casting Director, and First Assistant Director. More than 4,500 series regular roles and over 11,000 individual crew members across more than 110,000 behind-the-scenes positions were evaluated in the process of compiling the Inclusion List.

The focus on episodic programming expands on the first iteration of The Inclusion List, released by the groups in May of 2023. The premise of The Inclusion List is to go beyond submission, nomination, or subjective evaluation that typically guides lists by using data to determine rankings. Cast and crew scores are based on hiring lists and story details and thus reward channels, platforms and producers who have a demonstrated track record for inclusion.

“The series named to The Inclusion List are those in which the creative and personnel choices reflect inclusive decision-making,” Smith said. “On the casting side, the series regulars across these series are representative of the real world and the audiences they reach. Behind-the-scenes, these programs have teams that demonstrate just how possible it is to hire creative professionals from all backgrounds. When we looked at the companies responsible for distributing inclusive series, Netflix was at the top with the highest number of series appearing on the list.”

The top broadcast, and cable series honors went to Queen Sugar (OWN), The Baby (HBO), Naomi (CW), All American: Homecoming (CW), Twenties (BET), Queens (ABC), The Kings of Napa (OWN), 4400 (CW), Sistas (BET), and P-Valley (Starz).

On the streaming side, the top 10 most inclusive series were Raising Dion (Netflix), Gentefied (Netflix), The Garcias (Max), The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray (AppleTV+), Reasonable Doubt (Hulu), Now and Then (Apple TV+), Rap Sh!t (Max), With Love (Amazon Prime), First Kill (Netflix), and Swarm (Amazon Prime).

There were 20 producers whose work landed them atop The Inclusion List. These individuals served as executive producers for series airing on broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms. Each of the producers on The Inclusion List were responsible for 2 or more series with more than 750 episodes combined of content over the time period evaluated. The most inclusive producers in episodic series were: Greg Berlanti (10 series), Sarah Schecter (10 series), Ava DuVernay (4 series), Paul Garnes (4 series), Ravi Nandan (5 series), Howard Klein (6 series), Dave Becky (3 series), Mindy Kaling (4 series), David Madden (3 series), Carolyn Strauss (4 series), Aaron Kaplan (4 series), Lauren Levy Neustadter (3 series), Reese Witherspoon (3 series), Josh Schwartz (4 series), Stephanie Savage (4 series), Gloria Calderón Kellett (3 series), Fred Armisen (3 series), Jonathan Groff (3 series), Tony Hernandez (3 series), and Charles D. King (2 series).

“The Inclusion List wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of the Adobe Foundation,” Smith said. “With this iteration of the Inclusion List, we are proud to partner with a company invested in inclusion to celebrate the people and the series bringing inclusive stories to our screens.”

“The entertainment industry has an incredible power to connect people, shape culture and create impactful change in the world,” said Stacy Martinet, VP of marketing strategy and communications at Adobe and member of the Adobe Foundation board. “Adobe’s partnership with USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative illuminates our commitment to supporting and elevating underrepresented voices to share their stories.”

This latest partnership builds on Adobe’s commitment to creating greater inclusivity, access, opportunity and creativity for all. The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and Adobe Foundation together launched a landmark website on inclusion among Academy Award nominees and winners ahead of the 2023 Academy Awards ceremony. The Adobe Foundation also announced a $250k grant to support the USC School of Dramatic Arts (SDA) MFA program, directly supporting the production of short films for underrepresented students.

The full Inclusion List, including results from the groups’ first report on theatrical films, and the complete methodology, is available at