Female Directors Land Record 33% of Emmy Nominations This Year

A woman was nominated in all seven directing categories this year, for a total of 16 out 48 nominees overall

emmy nominees female directors
Getty Images

Women landed one third of all the Primetime Emmy nominations in the seven directing categories, a record high for the Television Academy. In total, 16 women were recognized this year out of 48 total directing nominations — a big jump from last year, when nine out of 49 directing nominees (just over 18%) were women. And this year, a woman was nominated in every single directing category, after two straight years of no female directors getting a nod for a reality series and one year without a woman picking up a nom for a variety series. Before this year, female directors had the highest representation in 2013, when eight of the 33 nominees — or 24% — were women. That was when there were still just six directing categories, as reality series had not been added to the list at that time. In the writing categories, women landed 33 nominations out of a total of 120 nominees, or 27.5%. That’s a slight improvement from 2019, when 45 female writers scored nominations out of a larger overall total of 167, or 26.9%. In the comedy directing category, Amy Sherman-Palladino (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) and Gail Mancuso (“Modern Family”) got nods. For drama, Jessica Hobbs (“The Crown”), Lesli Linka Glatter (“Homeland”) and Mimi Leder (“The Morning Show”) were nominated. Women outnumbered men in the Outstanding Limited Series or TV movie category, with four out of six nominations: Lynn Shelton, “Little Fires Everywhere”; Maria Schrader, “Unorthodox”; Nicole Kassell, “Watchmen”; Steph Green, “Watchmen.” Among the female directors nominated for variety series were Linda Mendoza for “Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready” and Dime Davis for “A Black Lady Sketch Show.” For variety special, Pamela Fryman (“Live in Front of a Studio Audience: ‘All in the Family’ and ‘Good Times’”) was the only woman out of six total nominees. And in reality series, Ariel Boles (“Top Chef”) got the lone female nomination out of five noms. In documentary/nonfiction program, Julia Reichert (“American Factory”), Nadia Hallgren (“Becoming”) and Rebecca Chaiklin (“Tiger King”) were the honored. On the writing side, “What We Do in the Shadows” writer Stefani Robinson was the only woman nominated for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. In the drama category, Miki Johnson (“Ozark”) got the sole nod. There were six women out of nine total nominees — Tanya Barfield, “Mrs. America”; Sally Rooney and Alice Birch, “Normal People”; Susannah Grant and Ayelet Waldman, “Unbelievable”; and Anna Winger, “Unorthodox” — in the Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special group. For the variety series category — which is dominated by late-night shows — 20 of the 80 writers nominated were women. In the variety special category, two women were nominated (Hannah Gadsby for “Hannah Gadsby: Douglas” and Marika Sawyer for “John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch”) and for nonfiction series three women got a nod (Rachel Mason and Kathryn Robson for “Circus Of Books” and Alisar Hasan for “The Cave”). Readers can find the full list of nominees here.