It’s been a big weekend for female comedy directors. Sitcom veteran Pam Fryman is filming her 500th episode of television, a milestone that just a few helmers have ever achieved. And tonight, Transparent creator Jill Soloway won her second consecutive Emmy Award for directing in a comedy series. Before her, the category was won twice in a row by Gail Mancuso for Modern Family.
Let’s put that in perspective. When Mancuso first won in 2013, she was only the second female director EVER to get the trophy, following Betty Thomas who won for Dream On in 1993. That is one female director in 55 winners. Compare this to the past four years, when four out of four Emmy winners for best director in a comedy series were women.
Add to that the director in a movie or limited series field where women won the last two years, Lisa Cholodenko for Olive Kitteridge last year and Susanne Bier tonight for The Night Manager.
Report after report shows that TV networks and studios have a long ways to go to bring gender parity to TV directing. But at the Emmys, female directors are cracking the ceiling in a major way.