From the Chicago Tribune:
" Going into this fall season, Nielsen Media Research determined that while the number of U.S. television households increased 0.5 percent from a year ago, to 110.2 million, the number of Latino TV homes rose 2.9 percent, to 11.23 million. They're closing the minority gap with African-American homes (up 0.8 percent, to 13.2 million) and ahead of Asian homes (up 3.2 percent, to 4.22 million).
"This is now a business proposition," said Alex Nogales, who heads the National Hispanic Media Council. "Latinos are now 14 percent of the U.S. population. That's a lot of soap that we buy. We're like the last frontier, the last group that's been marketed to, so everybody wants a piece of the action."
This has fueled a run on Hispanic talent in a bid to better reflect the world that would-be viewers actually live in. Or the world in which they wished they lived.
That's part of why Jimmy Smits is a would-be presidential successor to Martin Sheen on NBC's "The West Wing," and why Benjamin Bratt stars on the Pentagon series "E-Ring." It's also part of why Fox's "24" has Carlos Bernard and "That '70s Show" has Wilmer Valderrama"