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Men Directed 85% of TV Shows Last Season

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by Melissa Silverstein
September 28, 2012 12:31 PM
6 Comments
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Here's a sucky statistic brought to you by the Director's Guild of America: men directed 85% of all TV episodes last season.  These stats include all network and cable scripted TV shows - about 3,100 episodes. 

Paris Barclay and Lesli Linka Glatter chair the diversity efforts at the Guild which honestly suck.  The guild should be embarrassed since the numbers barely moved from the previous year.

Here are some quotes from both of them.

Paris Barclay: “Our industry has to do better...In this day and age, it’s quite disappointing that so many shows failed to hire even a single woman or minority director during the course of an entire season – even shows whose cast and crew otherwise is notably diverse. And, ‘We just don’t know anybody,’ doesn’t cut it anymore – the pool of talented and experienced women and minority directors grows every year, and too many of these qualified, capable directors are still overlooked.”

Leslie Linka Glatter: “Like any director working today, I started out when somebody took a shot at hiring me...It’s how we all start out – male, female, white or minority. As somebody who has been an executive producer on a television series, I can tell you that increasing director diversity is as simple as hiring more women and more people of color. It’s time that every producer, every showrunner, every person responsible for making hiring decisions in episodic television take a careful and honest look at their hiring practices and ask themselves how they can do better.”

It's not rocket science as Linka Glatter says, it's just about having the will and making the decision.  There are women ready to be hired.

Breaking the numbers down further here are the numbers which are compared with the previous year (which had been slightly amended)

Women of Color - 4% - up one point

White Women - 11% - unchanged

Men of color - 13% - down one point

White Men - 73% - up from 72%

Shockingly, there are some shows that hire not a single woman (or person of color) as a director and there are many that hire less than 15%. 

The Directing Hall of Shame includes:

Chemistry (Chemistry Series/Cinemax) – 0%
Dallas (Horizon Scripted Television/TNT) – 0%
The Inbetweeners (On Site Productions/MTV) – 0%
Leverage (Leverage Productions/TNT) – 0%
Retired at 35 (King Street Productions/TV Land) – 0%
Supernatural (NS Pictures/CW) – 0%
Veep (Home Box Office/HBO) – 0%
Workaholics (50/50 Productions/Comedy Central) – 0%

And

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS Broadcasting/CBS) – 5%
Hart of Dixie (Bonanza Productions/CW) – 5%
Nikita (NS Pictures/CW) – 5%
Once Upon A Time (Digital 49 Productions/ABC) – 5%
Boardwalk Empire (Home Box Office/HBO) – 8%
Justified (Woodridge Productions/FX) – 8%
Modern Family (Twentieth Century Fox Television/ABC) – 8%
The Office (Universal Network Television/NBC) – 8%
Supah Ninjas (Uptown Productions/Nickelodeon) – 8%
True Blood (Home Box Office/HBO) – 8%
Community (Remote Broadcasting/NBC) – 9%
Two Broke Girls (Bonanza Productions/CBS) – 9%
Fringe (Warner Bros. Television/FOX) – 10%
Hell on Wheels (Entertainment One Television USA/AMC) – 11%
The Newsroom (Home Box Office/HBO) – 11%
Perception (FTP Productions/TNT) – 11%
The Wedding Band (Terrapin Productions/TBS) – 11%
Castle (ABC Studios/ABC) – 13%
Cougar Town (FTP Productions/ABC) – 13%
Gossip Girl (Warner Bros. Television/CW) – 13%
New Girl (Twentieth Century Fox Television/FOX) – 13%
Rizzoli & Isles (Horizon Scripted Television/TNT) – 13%
Shake it Up (It’s a Laugh Productions/Disney Channel) – 13%
Parks & Recreation (Open 4 Business Productions/NBC) – 14%
Revenge (ABC Studios/ABC) – 14%
The Vampire Diaries (Bonanza Productions/CW) – 14%

We need to get a message stat to Amy Poehler that her show needs to hire more women directors and that same message needs to get to Liz Meriwether at New Girl. 

But there are some shows that do use women directors and some only have women direct.  These stats show that having a woman creator matters.  There are a lot more shows on this list with women creators than there are on the hall of shame list.  And women of color are at the top of this list.  Also shows targeted at tweens and teens also have a good record.  This is just another key example of how important it is to have a diversity of people in leadership positions.

The Game (Breakdown Productions/BET) – 100% - women creator
Let’s Stay Together (Breakdown Productions/BET) – 100% - women creator
Reed Between the Lines (Breakdown Productions/BET) – 100% - women creator
Single Ladies (Bling Productions/VH1) – 100% - women creator
Lab Rats (It’s a Laugh Productions/Disney XD) – 80%
Scandal (FTP Productions/ABC) – 67% - women creator
Suits (Open 4 Business Productions/USA) – 64%
Pair of Kings (It’s a Laugh Productions/Disney XD) – 62%
Nurse Jackie (Nurse Productions/Showtime) – 60% - women creators
Treme (Home Box Office/HBO) – 60%
Jessie (It’s a Laugh Productions/Disney Channel) – 58% - women creator
Drop Dead Diva (Woodridge Productions/Lifetime) – 54%
The Walking Dead (Stalwart Films/AMC) – 53%
Awkward (On Site Productions/MTV) – 50% - women creator
Grimm (Open 4 Business Productions/NBC) – 48%
The Middle (Warner Bros. Television/ABC) – 46% - women creators
Girls (Home Box Office/HBO) – 44% - women creator
90210 (CBS Broadcasting/CW) – 42%
Covert Affairs (Open 4 Business Productions/USA) – 43%
Dexter (Showtime Pictures Development Company/Showtime) – 42%
Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 (Twentieth Century Fox Television/ABC) – 42% - women creator
The Big C (Remote Broadcasting/Showtime) – 40% - women creator
Level Up (Alive and Kicking/Cartoon Network) – 40%
Suburgatory (Bonanza Productions/ABC) – 38% - women creator
Warehouse 13 – Universal Network Television/SyFy) – 38% - woman co-creator
Boss (Boss Kane Productions/Starz!) – 38%
30 Rock (NBC Studios/NBC) – 36%  women creator
The Good Wife (CBS Broadcasting/CBS) – 36% - women co-creator
Raising Hope (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation/FOX) – 36%
Smash (NBC Studios/NBC) – 36% - women creator
Sons of Anarchy (Pacific 2.1 Entertainment Group/FX) – 36%
Austin & Ally (It’s a Laugh Productions/Disney Channel) – 33%
CSI: NY (CBS Broadcasting/CBS) – 33% - women co-creators
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC Studios/ABC) – 33% - women creator
Fairly Legal (Open 4 Business Productions/USA) – 33%
Body of Proof (FTP Productions/ABC) – 31%
Psych (Universal Network Television/USA) – 31%
Alphas (Open 4 Business Productions/SyFy) – 30%
Falling Skies (Turner North Center Productions/TNT) – 30%
Franklin & Bash (Woodridge Productions/TNT) – 30%
Torchwood: Miracle Day (Bad Wolf Productions/Starz!) – 30% 

DGA Report Assesses Director Diversity in Hiring Practices for Episodic Television (DGA)

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6 Comments

  • Bes | October 2, 2012 5:04 PMReply

    There is nothing like "Women's Content" written, cast, costumed, directed and edited by men!

  • ann | October 1, 2012 3:12 AMReply

    thaks

  • Linn | September 28, 2012 1:49 PMReply

    The gold star list seems to be missing "How I Met Your Mother." According to imdb.com the series directed credits include PAMELA FRYMAN (150 episodes, 2005-2012), Rob Greenberg (7 episodes, 2006-2011), and Michael J. Shea (3 episodes, 2008-2011). Thanks.

  • Linn | September 29, 2012 12:56 PM

    Thanks for explaining. That's too bad. I think the creators of HIMYM should get the props they deserve for hiring a great female director. (in addition to the fact of a regularly consistent great TV show)

  • Melissa Silverstein | September 28, 2012 4:42 PM

    Linn-

    They did not include in the main numbers the shows that have a single primary director which is how they categorize that show.

  • L | September 28, 2012 12:58 PMReply

    Ugh this is such a bummer, but not surprising.

    Also I feel so conflicted now for my love of Supernatural. 0%, really?

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