The new TV pilot season brings some good but mostly bad news for women directors.
First, the good news: Leslye Headland (“Sleeping With Other People,” “Bachelorette”) and Jennifer Getzinger (“Agent Carter,” “Mad Men”) will helm pilots for ABC and NBC/Universal TV, respectively.
Headland has signed on to direct an as-yet-untitled pilot co-created by Hannah Mackay (“The Revolting World of Stanley Brown,” “Hotel Trubble”). The comedy will focus on the co-dependent relationship between two platonic soulmates, a lesbian and a straight man.
Getzinger will take on “Miranda’s Rights,” a one-hour legal drama written by Katie Lovejoy (“Dracula”). The series will follow a group of lawyers who, in addition to working long, grueling hours together, also live under the same roof — their start-up firm.
But here’s the bad news: Headland and Getzinger don’t have much company when it comes to fellow female directors this pilot season. Very few pilots being shot will be helmed by women. Deadline reports, “Out of about 40 broadcast drama pilots ordered, Getzinger is one of only two female directors total, along with Liz Friedlander, who co-created another legal drama, ABC/ABC Studios’ ‘Conviction,’ and was attached to direct from the get-go.” Women are faring dramatically better in the comedy genre. Of over 40 comedy pilots ordered by broadcast networks so far, nine are directed by women — but keep in mind that’s still less than 25% of the total.