Out of the 23 people nominated for writing or directing Emmys in the top comedy and drama series races, only three are women: “Transparent’s” Jill Soloway, “Mad Men’s” Semi Chellas and “Homeland’s” Lesli Linka Glatter.
Despite what the Academy described as a 60% increase in the number of women writing and directing nominees from last year, their numbers in the most prominent series categories dropped by two from last year.
Women were represented in the longform field with Dee Rees grabbing writing and directing mentions for HBO’s Bessie Smith biopic “Bessie.” Lisa Cholodenko and Jane Anderson were nommed for directing and writing HBO’s miniseries “Olive Kitteridge.” And Amy Schumer was recognized for variety series directing, along with Ryan McFaul, for the “12 Angry Men” episode of Comedy Central’s “Inside Amy Schumer.” There are also numerous women among the writing staffs nominated for variety series and specials.
But at a time when the market place for TV series is expanding rapidly, the slim percentage of female writing and directing nominees reflects the stubbornly low employment numbers for women. Soloway is a contender for comedy writing and directing, for the pilot of Amazon’s “Transparent.”
Overall, scribes and helmers showed the love to four freshman series — “Last Man on Earth,” “Transparent,” “Better Call Saul” and “The Knick.”
Symmetry prevailed in the comedy heat. Five of the six shows that landed noms for writing were also recognized for comedy directing, although not for the same episode in most cases.
Will Forte got a writing nod for the pilot of Fox’s “Last Man on Earth,” which also grabbed a directing mention for red-hot helming team of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.
Louis C.K. was recognized with a writing nom for the “Bobby’s House” episode of FX’s “Louie” and a directing bid for the episode “Sleepover.” (C.K. also grabbed a writing nom for variety special for his “Louis C.K.: Live at the Comedy Store.”)
HBO’s “Silicon Valley” hauled in a writing nom for Alec Berg, for the “Two Days of the Condor” seg, and a directing mention for Mike Judge, for “Sand Hill Shuffle.”
Armando Iannucci grabbed bids in both heats for HBO’s “Veep.” His writing nom was shared with Simon Blackwell and Tony Roche for “Election Night.” The directing mention came for “Testimony.”
Rounding out the comedy writing noms were David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik for the “409” seg of Showtime’s “Episodes.”
There were more players in the hunt for drama writing and directing trophies.
Joshua Brand, veteran drama scribe and past Emmy winner for “Northern Exposure” and “A Year in the Life,” is nommed for “The Americans” episode “Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?”
Gordon Smith earned a writing nom for the “Better Call Saul” episode “Five-0,” a much-praised installment of the AMC series that marked Smith’s first-ever written-by screen credit.
“Game of Thrones” grabbed writing and directing noms for its fifth-season finale, “Mother’s Mercy,” for showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and helmer David Nutter.
“Mad Men” landed two writing noms. “Lost Horizon” snared repeat bids for Chellas and Matthew Weiner. And Weiner rung up yet another nom for the series finale, “Person to Person.”
In the directing realm, “Game of Thrones” snared a second mention, for Jeremy Podeswa and the episode “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken.”
“Boardwalk Empire’s” finale, “El Dorado,” garnered director Tim Van Patten’s 11th career Emmy directing nom and his fourth for the series (he won in 2012).
Glatter earned her third career Emmy directing nom, and second for “Homeland,” for the oh-so-intense “From A to B and Back Again” installment of season four.
Steven Soderbergh rounded out the drama directing heat with a nod for the “Methods and Madness” episode of Cinemax’s “The Knick.” He took home an Emmy in 2013 for helming HBO’s “Behind the Candelabra.”
(Pictured: Jill Soloway, right, on the set of “Transparent”)