Female TV Directors Still Missing From Primetime

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'iCarly,' 'Falling Skies,' 'Always Sunny' among worst offenders, according to DGA

Caucasian males remain the dominant group among TV directors, helming 72% of all primetime episodes in the 2012-13 season, according to a new report from the Directors Guild of America.

That number represented a slight shift in the DGA stats, which had shown Caucasian males directed 73% of the segments in the 2011-12 season.

The DGA’s report, released Wednesday, analyzed more than 3,300 episodes produced in the 2012-2013 network season and the 2012 cable television season from more than 200 scripted series.

The percentage of episodes directed by Caucasian females increased from 11% to 12%. Episodes helmed by minority males increased from 13% to 14% but segments directed by minority females decreased from 4% to 2%.

The DGA also listed 13 shows that had no women or female directors last season — “After Lately” (CP Entertainment Services/E!); “The Exes (King Street Productions/TV Land); “Falling Skies” (Turner North Center Productions/TNT); “Hemlock Grove” (Ouroboros Productions/Netflix); “Hot in Cleveland (King Street Productions/TV Land ); “iCarly” (Uptown Productions/Nickelodeon); “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (Sunny Television Productions/FX); “Maron” (TVM Productions/IFC); “Sullivan & Son” (Horizon Scripted Television/ TBS); “Supernatural” (NS Pictures/CW); “Underemployed” (On Site Productions/MTV); “Workaholics (50/50 Productions/Comedy Central); and “Zach Stone is Gonna Be Famous” (On Site Productions/MTV).

The survey listed 36 shows that had less than 15% of episodes with women and minorities directing as part of the union’s “worst of” list. And 73 shows were listed as “best of” for having more than 30% of segments directed by women and minorities — including shows “The Game” (Breakdown Productions/BET), “The Hustle” (Marlowe Productions/Fuse), “The Real Husbands of Hollywood” (JSR Productions/BET) and “The Rickey Smiley Show” (Smiley Face Productions/TV One), where all episodes were directed by women and minorities.

“I applaud the shows whose diverse hiring practices landed them a spot on our ‘Best Of’ list. Some of them have clearly made a big commitment to diversity, and I think they’ve been well-served by it. I’d even point out that many of the most acclaimed and honored television episodes of the year were directed by a woman or a minority,” said Betty Thomas, co-chair of the DGA’s Diversity Task Force and the DGA’s First VP. “But we can’t ignore the shows on our ‘Worst Of’ lists – how is it possible, in this day and age, that more than a dozen series didn’t hire even a single woman or minority director all season?”

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