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The 25 Best Directors Working In TV Today

The 25 Best Directors Working In TV Today

We have, as you’ve probably noticed, not least from the Emmy Awards this week and Andy Samberg’s opening number, reached Peak TV. Even professionals whose job is to devour small-screen comedy and drama series can’t keep up with all the output, what with not just traditional cable outlets like HBO and FX, but also scripted serial newcomers like WGN America and Lifetime and streaming services like Netflix and Amazon getting in on the action.

It also means that, while TV remains a writer’s medium, that directors have been getting more attention. With shows like “Game Of Thrones” proving to be able to pull off big-screen-quality production value, the likes of “Hannibal,” “Mr. Robot” or “The Knick” are formally experimental in a way that shows could never been a decade or two ago. Since an episode of “The Walking Dead” can attract as many eyes as most summer blockbusters, it’s unsurprising that discerning viewers are starting to zero in on the directing credits a little more than previously.

So we wanted to shine a light a little more on the best directors working the small-screen beat. Not the A-list filmmakers who drop in for a quick pilot or run like David Fincher or Martin Scorsese, or those who’ve mostly abandoned the TV world for features (like Alan Taylor of “Thor: The Dark World” and “Terminator: Genisys” fame), but the relatively unsung heroes working regularly in television who elevate and improve your favorite shows. Take a look at those we consider the 25 best working today, and let us know your own picks in the comments.

Phil Abraham

Beyond perhaps David Chase, few have had as much impact on “The Sopranos,” the show that heralded this Golden Age of TV drama, as Phil Abraham, who was cinematographer on more than half of the episodes of the show over its run. Abraham also shot the first episode of “Mad Men,” helping to establish the show’s look, and around the same time made his directorial debut on 2007 “Sopranos” episode “Remember When.” Since then, he’s racked up credits on virtually every major show of the TV renaissance, including “Breaking Bad,” “The Good Wife” and “The Walking Dead,” but it’s “Mad Men” that proved to be his most regular home, with fifteen episodes in total. Abraham’s is also a regular on “Orange Is The New Black” (Season 1’s Red-centric “Moscow Mule” is a particular highlight), but might have made his biggest impression this year by helming the pilot and second episode of “Daredevil,” the latter of which had that staggering one-take hallway fight.

Lucia Aniello

Rightly, Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson get the lion’s share of the credit for their terrific comedy “Broad City,” but Lucia Aniello might be the show’s secret weapon. Like Glazer and Jacobson, Aniello’s a veteran of the Upright Citizens Brigade, and formed a writing partnership there, Paulilu, with Paul W. Downs (who plays Trey on the series). Together, they had a sketch webseries,”Paulilu Mixtape,” which she also directed, and have written three episodes together (including the terrific “Coat Check”). But Aniello’s had a bigger impact on the show beyond that —she directed the pilot and a further six episodes across the two seasons, and much of the show’s featherlight, vibrant tone can be credited to her. Hopefully, she’ll be back for more next year, but other gigs are calling: she helmed two episodes of Paul Feig’s very good sci-fi comedy “Other Space,” will direct a Sony movie called “Move That Body,” and with Downs, is penning a female-driven “21 Jump Street” spin-off.

Peter Atencio

We’re still mourning the end of “Key & Peele,” which ended a few weeks ago and which makes a good argument for being the best, most consistent American sketch show ever. Beyond the killer writing and the amazing range and comic skills of its headliners, part of its brilliance has been down to the look, a far more cinematic approach than most similar shows, and that’s down to Peter Atencio, who has sole directing credit on all but eight episodes of the show (and he co-directed those…). He has a real visual gift for comedy in a way that few filmmakers do, but he’s also a chameleon, able to mimic other’s styles in order to make the jokes land (witness his A++ Tom Hooper impersonation on the great “Les Miserables” parody), while also knowing when to sit back and let Key and Peele lead the show. The series has wrapped up, but Atencio’s keeping busy: he helmed an episode of “The Last Man On Earth,” and is reuniting with Jordan and Keegan-Michael for next year’s movie “Keanu.”

Jamie Babbitt

As we’ll see, the Golden Age of TV has provided both steady work and career resurgences to all kinds of big-screen filmmakers —think of Patty Jenkins, who went from “Monster” to “The Killing” to “Wonder Woman,” or Alan Taylor, director of “Palookaville,” then cable favorites “Game Of Thrones” and “Mad Men,” now blockbuster helmer of “Thor: The Dark World.” One of the ones we’re happiest about is Jamie Babbitt, director of cult 1999 comedy “But I’m A Cheerleader.” Babbitt had made movies since, but they mostly disappeared, whereas her TV work in the ’00s, with shows like “Malcolm In The Middle,” “Wonderfalls” and “Alias” found more of an audience. She was a regular helmer on Diablo Cody’s “The United States Of Tara,” but she’s really stepped up her game of late, with two terrific episodes of “Girls” (season 3’s “Free Snacks” and season 4’s “Tad & Loreen & Avi & Shanaz”), three episodes of “Looking” and 9 episodes of the underrated “Married.” Next up is new HBO comedy “Brothers In Atlanta.

Ed Bianchi

A veteran commercials helmer, Ed Bianchi moved into television relatively late, helming an episode of “Homicide: Life On The Street” in 1998, when he was 56 years old. Now 73, he’s still firmly in demand, which is unsurprising given that there’s hardly an acclaimed show of the last couple of decades that he hasn’t worked on. From “The Wire” (he helmed the first couple of episodes of season 2) and “Deadwood” (arguably the greatest drama of the modern age, for which he directed eight episodes), to “Mad Men” and “Boardwalk Empire,” Bianchi’s worked on them all. The show closest to his heart might have Starz’s “Magic City,” for which he was an executive producer, but he’s remained a versatile and prolific helmer whatever he does, with recent credits including “Bates Motel,” “Ray Donovan” and most prominently, two episode of “Bloodline,” including the powerful finale.

Tricia Brock

Unrelated to the Christian rock star of the same name, Tricia Brock kicked off her TV career in one of the more impressive ways possible —by writing two episodes (albeit in the less-loved second season) of David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks.” Her 2004 featureKiller Diller” moved her into directing, with her first TV helming job, on a 2006 episode of “Grey’s Anatomy,” following swiftly. Since then, she’s handled almost every kind of show imaginable, from frothy teen shows like ‘Gossip Girl” or “Ugly Betty,” to comedies like “30 Rock” and “Community,” to musical “Smash,” to dark, acclaimed fare like “Breaking Bad” (she helmed the fifth episode of the last season), and “The Killing.” The last couple of seasons have seen her outrageously in demand: she’s worked on “Silicon Valley,” “Mozart In The Jungle,” two episodes of “Girls” (including this year’s excellent Mimi-Rose centric “Ask Me My Name”) and most notably, a killer episode of “Mr. Robot” (“Tricia Brock CRUSHED this episode of MR. ROBOT,” Steven Soderbergh tweeted). Next up, Jason Reitman‘s “Casual” and some s4 of “Orange Is The New Black.”

S.J. Clarkson

It’s a long road from a British soap opera to introducing the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first female lead, but S.J. Clarkson has made an odd transition seem entirely natural. Picking up her first directing credits on prison series “Bad Girls” before going on to longrunning staples like “EastEnders” and “Casualty,” Clarkson first turned heads on the original BBC version of time-travel cop show “Life On Mars,” before co-creating and directing on hit drama “Mistresses” (later remade for the U.S.). The turn of the decade brought her stateside debut on episodes of “Ugly Betty” and “Heroes,” as well as the acclaimed Helena Bonham-Carter-starring TV movie “Toast,” and since then, she’s stacked up credits on “Dexter,” “Banshee,” “Bates Motel” and “Orange Is The New Black,” among others. On the way, she’s joining Martin Scorsese and Mark Romanek as a director of HBO’s “Vinyl,” will reunite with Bonham-Carter for the Nick Hornby-penned “Love, Nina,” and has helmed the pilot for Marvel & Netflix’s “Jessica Jones,” starring Krysten Ritter.

John Dahl

Breaking through with neo-noirs “Red Rock West” and “The Last Seduction” in the early 1990s, John Dahl continued to make finely wrought dramas and thrillers, like cult hit “Rounders” and the underrated “Joy Ride,” but troubled WW2 movie “The Great Raid” seemed to cause issues with his career. Instead, Dahl (aside from 2007’s little-seen “You Kill Me”) shifted into TV, where he’s been doing some stellar work. He worked on shows like “True Blood,” “Battlestar Galactica” and “Breaking Bad,” plus multiple episodes of “Californication” and sixteen of “Dexter.” He’s also stacked up credits on Playlist favorites like the much-missed “Terriers,” “Justified,” “Hannibal” and “The Americans,” and most recently was behind two of the strongest Season 3 episodes of “House Of Cards.” Throughout, he’s been showcasing the skills that made him so exciting in the early 1990s, wringing every drop of tension out of the thrillers while showing a range that perhaps wasn’t as clear in the likes of “The Last Seduction.”

James Foley

Who knows if they ever have, but if Dahl and James Foley met, you suspect they’d discover that have a few things in common. Both emerged with movies in the 1980s —Foley with “At Close Range” and “Who’s That Girl”— before making sturdy though hit-and-miss thrillers and dramas in the 1990s. Foley’s highpoint was “Glengarry Glen Ross,” while his low was either “The Chamber” or the more recent Halle Berry vehicle “Perfect Stranger” before the big-screen work started to dry up a bit. Foley had some TV credits in the past, including an episode of “Twin Peaks,” and again, it’s the small-screen that’s given him a third act. Along with well-received episodes of “Hannibal” and “Wayward Pines,” Foley’s won acclaim as the most frequent helmer of “House Of Cards,” with twelve episodes of the series to date, including several highpoints, most notably the return to form of the third season finale. And it’s bought him a ticket back to the big screen: he’s got a guaranteed hit coming up with Fifty Shades Darker,” the sequel to this year’s bonkbuster smash.

Carl Franklin

Completing an accidental alphabetical trilogy of 1990s thriller directors reinvigorated by the television revolution, Carl Franklin began as an actor before retraining as a director in the late 1980s, making a number of movies for Roger Corman, then breaking out for real with Billy Bob Thornton-penned neo-noir “One False Move” in 1992. A number of movies —some good, some not— arrived (“Devil In A Blue Dress” being the best), but he actually jumped on the TV train earlier than most feature helmers, with episodes of HBO’s “Rome” and Eddie Izzard vehicle “The Riches” back in 2007. Since then, he’s continued to do terrific work on a number of shows, including “The Pacific,” “The Leftovers,” “Homeland,” “The Affair,” “Bloodline” and the opening two episodes of the second season of “House Of Cards” (which, between Dahl, Foley, Franklin and Joel Schumacher, has really cornered the market in ‘people who made courtroom thrillers in the 1990s’). Next up, he’s returning to movies for a “Tupac” biopic, but he’ll certainly be in prestige-cable-drama demand once that’s done.

Lesli Linka Glatter

Though she was Oscar-nominated for her debut short “Tales Of Meeting And Parting” and has a couple of features under her belt, most notably 90s-kid sleepover-fave “Now & Then,” Lesli Linka Glatter is a small-screen staple, with a resume that puts almost everyone else here to shame. Her earliest credits include work with Steven Spielberg and David Lynch on “Amazing Stories” and “Twin Peaks,” before ’90s gigs on show like “Murder One” and “NYPD Blue” that paved the way for our current wave of TV drama. Since then, she’s worked on probably every beloved series, taking in “Freaks & Geeks,” “Gilmore Girls,” “The West Wing,” “E.R,” “House” and “Mad Men,” winning an Emmy nod for a 2010 episode of the latter. She also picked up a DGA Award for the same “Mad Men” installment, and won the same award for “Homeland” last year, a show she’s so key to that she’s an executive producer on it.

Keith Gordon

Another terminally underrated 1990s helmer who’s found a new lease of life on TV, Keith Gordon began as an actor in movies including “All That Jazz” and “Dressed To Kill” before making his writing debut aged just 25 with Mark Romanek’s “Static” in 1986, also starring in that film. After that, he began to focus on directing, with his undervalued pictures including World War One drama “A Midnight Clear,” Vonnegut adaptation “Mother Night” and Billy Crudup drama “Waking The Dead,” though even then he was mixing it with work on TV, including a “Homicide: Life On The Street” episode. Gordon hasn’t made a movie since 2003’s “The Singing Detective” (though Christopher Nolan was meant to be producing one for him at one point), but he’s been busy on TV, with credits including “House,” “Rubicon,” “Rectify,” ten episodes of “Dexter,” “The Leftovers,” “The Strain” and “Homeland.”

Anthony Hemingway

Fascinatingly, Anthony Hemingway’s career parallels the new era of TV almost exactly: he started out as an assistant director on “The Corner” and “Oz,” the precursors to “The Wire,” before moving into directing with the latter show, for which he helmed a fourth season episode and a fifth season one. He was soon racking up credits, mostly on procedural shows, but also on “Battlestar Galactica” and HBO’s “Tell Me You Love Me,” and reunited with the “Wire” crew for eight episodes in total of “Treme.” Hemingway had a brief detour to features, for the George Lucas-produced “Red Tails,” but he’s mostly been back on TV since, doing top-notch directing work on “American Horror Story,” “The Newsroom,” “Shameless,” “Empire” and, this year, “Orange Is The New Black.” Coming up, he’s helming four episodes of WGN America’s new show “Underground,” starring Christopher Meloni and about slaves attempting an escape through the underground railroad, and he’ll direct a new pilot for CBS about Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn.

Nicole Kassell

She’s of a slightly different vintage than other feature-directors-turned-TV-helmers (her breakthrough was 2004’s controversial “The Woodsman”), but Nicole Kassell has followed a similar path in surfing its success to acclaimed TV work. Initially, it seemed to be closer to bill-paying, with episodes of “Cold Case” and “The Closer,” but after her ill-fated second feature “A Little Bit Of Heaven,” Kassell’s racked up a frankly intimidating resume of killer small-screen work. “The Killing” was her first major credit and since then she’s worked on “The Americans,” “The Following,” “American Crime,” “Better Call Saul” and the acclaimed “Rectify,” with “The Leftovers” coming up. In other words, most of the most-praised, moody dramas of the modern era (and also “The Following,” which was terrible). Given the promiseof “The Woodsman,” we’d love for her to land another movie, but at the same time, she’s doing such great small-screen work that it would be a shame to lose her again.

Larysa Kondracki
This Canadian filmmaker has followed a similar path to several of these directors, albeit in more recent manner —her debut feature, the Rachel Weisz-starring UN scandal drama “The Whistleblower,” was only released in 2010. She found her way into television quite quickly, with work on BBC America’s period crime tale “Copper,” from “Oz” creator Tom Fontana, in 2013: seven episodes in total, and an executive-producer credit on the second series. Thandie Newton vehicle “Rogue” followed, along with “Halt and Catch Fire,” and others, but she’s been involved in bigger and better projects in the last twelve months: period epic “Reign,” a memorable episode of “The Americans,” one of the best-ever episodes of “The Walking Dead” with “The Distance,” and the terrific “Bingo” from “Better Call Saul” (the one with the comeuppance of the Kettlemans). She does have a few movies in development, but she’s also just scored a directing deal with Starz, indicating the speed with which she’s risen through the ranks.

Euros Lyn

With undoubtedly the coolest name on this list (he’s Welsh and began his career in Welsh-language film and TV), Euros Lyn first broke out with the reboot of “Doctor Who” a decade ago, helming the second and third episodes of the show and some of the best episodes of the new era, including “The GIrl In The Fireplace” and “Silence In The Library,” displaying blockbuster credentials on a relatively meager budget. He stayed in the Who-niverse for bleak, powerful spin-off “Torchwood: Children Of Earth,” and has since been behind many of Britain’s biggest exports, including episodes of “Sherlock,” “Black Mirror,” “Broadchurch” and “Cucumber.” In particular, the success of “Broadchurch” and the excellent, BAFTA-winning crime drama “Happy Valley” (for which he directed the entirety) have helped to bring him to U.S. attention: he directed the final two episodes of American “Broadchurch” remake “Gracepoint,” and also helmed the excllent penultimate episode of “Daredevil,” one of the show’s strongest. Next up: BBC miniseries “Capital,” starring Toby Jones.

Michelle MacLaren

For someone who hasn’t yet directed a movie, Michelle MacLaren has developed a huge following, becoming one of the few TV directors with real name recognition, and rightly so. Beginning her career as a production manager, MacLaren made her directorial debut on a 2002 episode of “The X-Files” penned by Vince Gilligan, having been an executive-producer on the show’s last couple of seasons. Various genre and procedural gigs followed, but it was “Breaking Bad” that truly put her on the map —she directed eleven episodes in total, was an executive producer on the show and won two Emmys and four nods, including for directing Season Three’s “One Minute” and Season Five’s “Gliding Over All.” She’s also racked up credits on “The Walking Dead,” “Camelot” and, most notably ”Game Of Thrones” (the terrific “The Bear And The Maiden Fair” perhaps being her finest hour as such), and more recently has worked on episodes of “The Leftovers” and “Better Call Saul.” Famously, she worked on the “Wonder Woman” movie for six months before departing earlier this year, but maybe that’s for the best —her next project is “The Wire” creator David Simon’s HBO ’70s porn drama The Deuce,” starring James Franco.

Seith Mann

One of the great discoveries of “The Wire” (the show’s late producer Robert F. Colesberry saw his short “Five Deep Breaths,” which also led them to Jamie Hector, i.e. Marlo, and he made his professional directorial debut on Season 4’s “Home Rooms”), Mann has been highly in demand ever since. He’d return to “The Wire” for season 5, by which time he’d already helmed episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Cold Case,” and would go on to big-name shows like “Sons Of Anarchy,” “Entourage,” “Heroes,” “Fringe” and “Dexter.” He’s also been a regular helmer on “Californication,” “Nurse Jackie,” “The Walking Dead” and “Elementary” (with seven episodes of the latter), and has done terrific work on “Ballers,” “Rectify” and “Homeland” in particular. He’s teamed with hero Spike Lee to develop graphic novel “Miss: Better Living Through Crime” into a feature, but next up is “The Breaks” starring Method Man and Wood Harris, VH1’s first original movie.

Beth McCarthy-Miller

It’s relatively rare for a director of live TV to make the transition into single-camera formats, but having been one of the very best in the game at the former, Beth McCarthy-Miller’s now done the same with the latter. Starting off at MTV (she helmed the famous Nirvana episode of “MTV Unplugged”), McCarthy-Miller took on the frankly terrifying job of directing “Saturday Night Live” in 1995, helming 218 episodes over the next eleven years, along with various one-off specials. She departed the show in 2006, and started moving into single camera, beginning with “30 Rock” (for which she became a regular helmer, directing 23 episodes, including the live episodes and the wonderful finale) and “Important Things With Demetri Martin.” She still does the occasional live project, but she’s otherwise worked on all kinds of big-name sitcoms, including “Community,” “Happy Endings,” “Parks & Recreation,” “The Mindy Project,” “Modern Family” and “Brooklyn Nine Nine.” She most recently reunited with Tina Fey on “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” and killed it once again.

Johan Renck

Not many directors on this list can say that they had a previous career as a pop star, but Johan Renck can: the Swedish helmer had a number of hit singles at home and abroad under the name Stakka Bo before moving into directing music videos for the likes of Madonna, Robyn, Beyoncé and Lana Del Ray. His first feature, 2008’s “Downloading Nancy,” starring Maria Bello, mostly received bad reviews, but it helped to move him into features, and the following year things improved greatly with a Season Two episode of “Breaking Bad.” Over two further episodes of the show and work on “Vikings,” “Bates Motel” and “Halt And Catch Fire,” he’s showed himself to be one of cable drama’s premiere stylists, and it paid off with exemplary work helming the first two episodes of Netflix’s “Bloodline.” His next project might be his most exciting yet: Jack Thorne’s miniseries “The Last Panthers,” starring Samantha Morton, John Hurt and Tahar Rahim and featuring a theme song by David Bowie.

Julie Anne Robinson

Starting in British theater, Julie Anne Robinson swiftly got behind a camera, and followed episodes of long-running medical soaps “Holby City” and “Doctors” with the BAFTA-nominated “Blackpool,” a Dennis Potter-style musical series starring David Morrissey and David Tennant. This, and Nicholas Hoult-starring TV movie “Coming Down The Mountain,” put her on American radars, and she made her network debut with an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy.” Since then, she’s worked almost exclusively stateside, in TV and features (Miley Cyrus vehicle “The Last Song” and Katherine Heigl pic “One For The Money” were both her work, for better or worse). In recent years, she’s been working on bigger and bigger series: comedy-wise, she’s directed “Parks & Recreation” (the great “Cones Of Dunshire” episode), “Suburgatory” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” plus the pilot for “Selfie,” while on the drama front, she’s had “Scandal,” “Manhattan” and, this season, “Orange Is The New Black.” She’s so valued that ABC signed her to an overall deal, and is an executive producer on the upcoming Shonda Rhimes series “The Catch.”

Miguel Sapochnik

Remember “Repo Men,” the slightly ropey sci-fi action thriller starring Jude Law and Forest Whitaker from a few years back? The man behind it, Miguel Sapochnik, was also behind some of your favorite TV episodes of the last few years. The British filmmaker started his career as an art department PA on the set of “Trainspotting,” before moving up to storyboard artist on films like “A Life Less Ordinary.” Commercials and music video work followed, with “Repo Men” then leading to a TV gig on “House.” He’s followed that up with some of the more stylish shows on TV —“Awake,” “Fringe,” “Banshee”— but it seemed to be his helming of the ultimately scrapped Fox pilot “Hieroglyph” that launched him to the next level, with two stellar “Game Of Thrones” episodes in Season 5, including the spectacular “Hardhome,” arguably the show’s best battle sequence yet. He since helmed one of the better “True Detective” Season 2 episodes, and a “Masters of Sex” one too. Next, he’s returning to Westeros, for the final two, sure-to-be-huge episodes of 2016’s Season Six.

Thomas Schlamme

Few have straddled both the last great age of network television and the new era of cable drama in the way that Thomas Schlamme has. Beginning in features (underrated Mike Myers vehicle “So I Married An Axe Murderer” is probably his best-known big-screen work), Schlamme worked on virtually every big-name show of the 1990s, including “Friends,” “Mad About You,” “Spin City,” “E.R.” and “The Larry Sander Show,” but really made his name with “The West Wing” —he helmed the pilot of Aaron Sorkin’s classic political series, pioneering the walk-and-talk style that would become the show (and the writer’s) trademark. He was an executive producer through the first four seasons, then left with Sorkin to work on the short-lived “Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip.” He’s been pickier with his projects since —mostly pilots for shows including “Parenthood” and “Pan Am,” but has done arguably some of his best work ever on two of the stealthily-best directed shows on TV, “The Americans” and “Manhattan” (he’s also an executive producer on the latter).

Tristram Shapeero

Like some kind of Atlantic-straddling comedy colossus, Tristram Shapeero spent the first half of the last fifteen years directing some of Britain’s best-loved comedies, then did exactly the same in the U.S. Starting out as a floor manager and assistant director, Shapeero moved into directing with all-female sketch comedy “Smack The Pony” before standing out with Chris Morris’ staggeringly brilliant “Brass Eye” pedophilia episode. “I’m Alan Partridge,” “Peep Show” and “Catastrophe” co-creator Sharon Horgan’s “Pulling” followed, before he headed across to the States. He swiftly became a network comedy staple, with gigs on “Parks & Rec,” “Bored To Death,” “New Girl,” “Happy Endings,” and most famously, “Community” —he directed 24 episodes of Dan Harmon’s comedy, almost a quarter of the show’s entire run. His feature debut “A Merry Friggin’ Christmas” (one of Robin Williams’ last films) was disappointing, but he’s continued to do stellar small screen wrok, including “Childrens Hospital,” “Fresh Off The Boat,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and “Blunt Talk.”

Tim Van Patten

It makes sense that Tim Van Patten’s initials are TVP —it could easily be mistaken for TeleVision Person. As an actor, he starred in three seasons of basketball drama “The White Shadow” in the late ’70s, and also featured in short-lived NBC cop drama “True Blue” in the late ’80s. Van Patten moved into directing in the early ’90s, mixing the treacly “Touched By An Angel” with its exact opposite, “Homicide: Life On The Streets,” but it was “The Sopranos” that put him on the map: after his first season episode, he helmed a further nineteen episodes of the show (and also co-wrote one of its best-loved, “Pine Barrens”). Since then, he’s been a go-to guy for HBO, working on “The Wire,” “Deadwood,” “Sex and the City” (helming the finale), “Rome,” and the first two episodes of “Game Of Thrones.” He’s taken on bigger roles behind the scenes as well, serving as executive producer on both “The Pacific” and “Boardwalk Empire,” and has won two Emmys and a spectacular fifteen nominations.

Honorable Mentions: Given the hours of TV produced right now, and even having excluded those who’ve mostly abandoned TV for features, or feature directors who dabble, like “Hannibal”’s Vincenzo Natali and David Slade, or “House Of Cards Agnieszka Holland), there’s still plenty of helmers we could mention.

Among them: this week’s Emmy winner David Nutter, who’s worked on virtually every TV show under the sun, “Community” and “Childrens Hospital” veteran Rob Schrab, recently recruited for “The Lego Movie 2,” “Girls” helmer Jesse Peretz, “Game Of Thrones” Emmy nominee Jeremy Podeswa, Matt Shakman, who’s impressed with “Fargo” and “You’re The Worst,” “Luther” helmer Brian Kirk, and Clooney-substitute-turned-excellent TV helmer Adam Arkin, who’s done stellar work on “Justified,” Fargo” and “The Americans,” among others.

There’s also “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead” helmer Michael Slovis, veteran Alex Graves of “The West Wing” and “Bloodline,” Peter Medak, who’s gone from “The Ruling Class” to “Hannibal” and “Breaking Bad,” another “Hannibal” vet Tim Hunter, Richard Shepard, who’s handled a ton of “Girls,” Jim McKay of “Breaking Bad” and “Mr. Robot,” indie vet Lodge Kerrigan, now doing “Homeland” and “Bates Motel,” “Doctor Who” and “Daredevil” veteran Farren Blackburn, “Penny Dreadful”’s Dearbhla Walsh, “Game Of Thrones” and “Marco Polo” helmer Daniel Minahan, joined on the former show by Alik Sakharov, Mark Mylod and “Lost” veteran Jack Bender.

Not to mention “Fargo and “Better Call Saul” director Adam Bernstein, “You’re The Worst”’s Alex Hardcastle, “Parks & Rec” vet Dean Holland, comedy staple Ken Whittingham, Jennifer Getzinger of “Mad Men” and “Orange Is The New Black,” Daisy Von Scherler Mayer of “Halt & Catch Fire” and “Mad Men,” “Justified” and “Tyrant” director Gwyneth Horder-Payton, “Orange Is The New Black” helmers Michael Trim and Uta Briesewitz, Guillermo Del Toro DP turned “Hannibal” and “Narcos” director Guillermo Navarro, and veteran Michael Rymer, another “Hannibal” helmer. Anyone else? Let us know in the comments.

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