Jennifer Getzinger (Mad Men, The Big C) is set to direct NBC/Universal TV’s legal drama pilot Miranda’s Rights, written by Katie Lovejoy. Surprisingly, given the current push in the industry to open up the field to female directors, Getzinger is the only woman hired to direct a broadcast drama pilot this season with just 1-2 open assignment left. Out of about 40 broadcast drama pilots ordered, she 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.
This is half the number of female drama pilot directors – four – who worked on broadcast pilots last year when three were hired on existing pilots, Ava DuVernay (CBS’ For Justice), Coky Giedroyc (ABC’s Broad Squad), and Sanaa Hamri (Fox’s Studio City), while Julie Anne Robinson helmed ABC’s The Catch, which she had developed.
Drama TV directing has been a tough field for women, with Lesli Linka Glatter as a notable exception, landing 3 Emmy nominations in the past five years. Still, no woman has won the Emmy for directing drama series in more than two decades, since Mimi Leder did it in 1995 for ER.
Comedy has been more welcoming to female directors, with Gail Mancuso winning back-to-back Emmys for Modern Family in 2013 and 2014. With a similar number of comedy pilots as dramas ordered by the broadcast networks this year — just over 40 — 9 are directed by women. That includes multi-camera veteran Pam Fryman with two (NBC’s Good Fortunre, CBS’ My Time/Your Time), as well as one each for Mancuso (Fox’s The Enforcers), Julie Anne Robinson (ABC’s Hail Mary), Leslye Headland (untitled Weeks/Mackay), Amy Poehler (NBC’s Dumb Prince), Beth McCarthy Miller (NBC’s Tracey Wigfield), Claire Scanlon (NBC’s Matt Hubbard) and Christine Gernon (ABC’s Speechless).
But drama pilot field continues to be completely dominated by male directors despite the fact that the heads of drama at three of the Big 4 are women, Channing Dungey (ABC), Pearlena Igbokwe (NBC) and Christina Davis (CBS).
Written/co-executive produced by Katie Lovejoy and executive produced by John Glenn, Miranda’s Rights is one-hour legal soap about an idealistic group of lawyers who not only work together but live together at their start-up firm.
This marks the pilot directing debut for Getzinger, who directing ten episodes of Mad Men, earning three DGA Award nominations for work on the show, including for helming the acclaimed episode “The Suitcase.” She is repped at Verve and Hansen Jacobson.