The momentum for female TV comedy writers continues. On the heels of the recent success of comedy series created/co-created by women — including Fox’s New Girl, ABC’s Suburgatory and CBS’ 2 Broke Girls — and a second consecutive upfront with multiple pickups of new series from female creators including Fox’s The Mindy Project from Mindy Kaling and ABC’s How To Live With Your Parents from Claudia Lonow, female comedy writes are now making big strides in the boy’s club known as the writing for a comedy series Emmy category. Lena Dunham, creator-star of HBO’s new comedy series Girls, and Amy Poehler, star of NBC’s Parks And Recreation, today landed comedy series writing Emmy nominations alongside Parks & Rec co-creator Michael Schur, Louie creator-star Louis C.K., and Community’s Chris McKenna. Film prodigy Dunham is nominated for the Girls pilot, while Poehler is recognized for writing “The Debate” episode of Parks & Rec. I counted only a handful times in Emmy history when two female writers have received comedy writing nominations, the last time in 2002 when Jennifer Crittenden was nominated for the “Marie’s Sculpture” episode of Everybody Loves Raymond and Julie Rottenberg & Elisa Zuritsky for the “My Motherboard, My Self” episode of Sex And The City.
Related: 2012 EMMYS NOMINATIONS
Female comedy writers face even longer odds for winning an Emmy. Since the category was established in 1955, the comedy writing Emmy has been awarded to a female writer/writing team only three times: to Treva Silverman in 1974 for The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Diane English in 1989 for the pilot of Murphy Brown and Tina Fey in 2008 for an episode of her NBC series 30 Rock. What works in Dunham and Poehler’s favor is that in all three cases, when a female writer won the Emmy, it was for a comedy with a female lead, which is the case with both Girls and Parks & Rec. Additionally, the comedy writing field opened up this year with the surprising omission of Modern Family, whose writers won the category for the past two years.
Also helping Dunham and Poehler’s chances for an Emmy is the fact both landed acting nominations and will face off in both the comedy writing and best actress in a comedy series categories. Additionally, Dunham is nominated for directing the Girls pilot.