Women Few and Far Between in Emmy’s Writing and Directing Races

The Emmy nominations for writing and directing are usually a bellwether of where the industry insiders see the sizzle in the small screen. The scribe and helming categories are less of a popularity contest than the comedy and drama series races.

So it was with some dismay that after checking the list a couple of times, I noticed the paucity of female nominees in these categories. No femmes in the drama series directing race, and in drama writing, only Moira Walley-Beckett made the cut for the “Ozymandias” episode of “Breaking Bad.”

The picture is only a little brighter in comedy. Liz Friedman and Jenji Kohan are nommed for writing the pilot seg of “Orange is the New Black.” On the helming side, Gail Mancuso landed her third consecutive nom (she won last year) for “Modern Family,” for the “Vegas” episode. And Jodie Foster was recognized for the “Lesbian Request Denied” episode of “OITNB.”

RELATED: Tatiana Maslany to Bellamy Young: Why Do Emmys Dismiss Great Acting in Genres and Soaps?

Questioning the absence of femmes in competition this year is not meant to take anything away from the other deserving nominees in the categories. I was especially happy to see “Boardwalk Empire” get at least a little recognition from Emmy voters with a drama directing nom for Tim Van Patten for the “Farewell Daddy Blues” season four finale seg.

But it’s hard to square the Emmy playing field this year with a few simple stats: Women account for a little more than half of the U.S. population and well more than half of the TV viewing aud on most nights. I suppose the Emmy results are in keeping with the latest DGA stats indicating that women helmers account for only about 14% of all episodic TV work.

And perhaps my hopes were raised too high after last year when Michelle MacLaren was up for directing “Breaking Bad” and Lesli Linka Glatter was up for helming “Homeland.” In comedy, three of the five directing nominees were women (Lena Dunham for “Girls,” Mancuso and Beth McCarthy-Miller for “30 Rock.”)

RELATED: ‘The Good Wife’ Leads List of Emmy Snubs and Surprises

But last year, there were no female nominees in the drama writing heat, and three nominees for comedy writing (Pamela Adlon for “Louie” and Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfield for “30 Rock”). So progress comes in fits and starts. It’s just hard to believe that we’re still talking about “progress” in 2014.

(Pictured: Moira Walley-Beckett, Jodie Foster, Jenji Kohan)

More TV

  • Savannah Sellers and Gadi Schwartz -

    NBC News Digital Workers Form New Union

    A group of approximately 150 editorial workers who help produce some of NBC News digital content have formed a union, citing a desire to push their employer to work more seriously through such issues as equal pay and the recent handling of sensitive stories. Editorial employees of NBC News Digital won certification of their union [...]

  • Fox Nation Tests Holiday Programming

    Fox Nation Tests Holiday Programming

    The Fox Nation streaming-video service has long been touted as a new option for super-fans of the Fox News Channel. But some of the broadband hub’s new programming choices suggest adherents of “Fox & Friends” and Sean Hannity aren’t looking solely for chatter about politics and interviews with members of the Trump administration. Subscribers to [...]

  • ET Live

    ET Live, ET Online Cut Nearly 25% of Staff as Streamer Narrows Scope

    When ET Live first launched on Halloween of 2018, the free “Entertainment Tonight”-branded streaming network kicked off with 15 hours of live programming a week, in three daily installments of entertainment news a day at 9 a.m., 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. But after just a few months, the direct-to-consumer platform — modeled off of [...]

  • Victoria Pedretti and Penn Badgley You

    Victoria Pedretti on How L.A. and Joan Didion Influence 'You' Season 2

    A recent graduate of the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, Victoria Pedretti broke out last year with her role as the tragic, youngest Crain sibling in Netflix’s “The Haunting of Hill House.” Her star has continued to rise with a role in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” playing Manson family member Leslie “Lulu” Van [...]

  • The Mandalorian Episode 6

    ‘The Mandalorian’: 5 Burning Questions From Episode 6

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read on if you have not watched the first six episodes of Disney Plus’ “Star Wars” spinoff series “The Mandalorian.”” Episode 6 of “The Mandalorian” continued the series’ propensity for heavy references to its sister works in the “Star Wars” galaxy. Virtually the entire episode took place inside a high-security prison ship, [...]

  • Sera Gamble You Showrunner

    Inside 'You' Season 2 on Netflix: We're Not in Manhattan (or Lifetime) Anymore

    Stepping into a chocolate brown ranch-style home, Penn Badgley’s broody Joe Goldberg wanders through a pool party being thrown on a Tuesday afternoon, exasperated. Inside are hipsters lazing on unicorn floats, several men in Borat swimsuits and a reporter who’s chasing down a Jared Padalecki rumor. Toto, we’re not in Manhattan anymore. When Season 2 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content