So far so good. The first official hourlong pilot directing job this broadcast season has gone to a female helmer, Conviction co-creator Liz Friedlander, who has been tapped to direct and executive produce the first episode of ABC’s straight-to-series light crime drama The Rookie starring and executive produced by Castle alum Nathan Fillion.
Friedlander has been carrying the flag for female directors the last two years when their numbers plunged to all-time lows. In 2017, of 41 broadcast drama pilots this season, only one — ABC’s Las Reinas — was directed by a woman, Friedlander. In 2016, two of 40-plus drama pilots went for female directors, Jennifer Getzinger (NBC’s Miranda’s Rights), and Friedlander, who helmed the pilot for ABC’s Conviction, which she co-created and had been attached to direct.
Like Conviction, The Rookie comes from The Mark Gordon Company and ABC Studios.
Written by former Castle executive producer/co-showrunner Alexi Hawley and inspired by a true story, The Rookie stars Fillion as John Nolan,the oldest rookie in the LAPD. At an age where most are at the peak of their career, Nolan cast aside his comfortable, small town life and moved to L.A. to pursue his dream of being a cop. Now, surrounded by rookies twenty years his junior, Nolan must navigate the dangerous, humorous and unpredictable world of a “young” cop, determined to make his second shot at life count.
Fillion also executive produces with Hawley, MGC’s Mark Gordon and Nicholas Pepper, Michelle Chapman, and Jon Steinberg.
In addition to a feature, Take The Lead, and extensive episodic work, Friedlander has five previous broadcast pilots under her belt, three of which have gone to series: The Secret Circle; Stalker and Conviction. She’s repped by CAA and attorney Howard Abramson.