More Women Coming to TV Next Season?

by Jennifer Welsing

It’s that time of year again. No, not when your new shows are coming back for the second half of their season—it’s pilot season! Where networks start working on new shows to replace the ones that have left us, the ones that were torn from us, the ones we didn’t even know existed, and the ones that were finally put to rest.

Of the five major networks, there are about 88 new shows in the running to become America’s next top show. It’s pretty much split down the middle between comedys and dramas (with a few dramedys thrown in just to shake things up). It’s also a tie between who is leading the show, a woman or a man. The ensemble cast is the way the networks are leaning. What is not evenly divided is who’s behind the show; writing and producing. Men outrank women in the writing department by almost two to one. The numbers are about the same in seeing a woman with the executive producer title.    

What is really surprising is how the numbers come down between networks. ABC is definitely ahead in the comedy department, with more then half their shows set to star women and about half being written by women. One show stars Rebel Wilson, who is also the writer.  But ABC is lacking women in their drama department; just two of their proposed 11 shows have a woman star, and the same goes for the writing. But at least they have Joss Whedon coming back to TV. NBC is not far behind; there, the lead roles are almost split between the genders, but men still out-write the ladies. NBC so lacks lady writers that there isn’t a single female writer on any of their drama shows. Fox is on the opposite end of the spectrum with only one comedy and drama set to have a female star. They are also employing about the same amount of writers. CBS isn’t quite ignoring the ladies, they only have about one or two more stars and writers then FOX, including Anna Faris starring in her own show. The CW is the only network with out a single comedy on it’s lineup but plenty of teen drama starring more gals then guys and by far the most women writers of any of the networks.

The divide between comedy and drama is also a surprising turn. At some point, women were not even thought to be funny. It wasn’t that long ago that Tina Fey was named the first female head writer on SNL, and now we see more female names as comedy writers. Things are slowly changing (though it seems women are thought to be the better writers for teen dramas), but there are more women’s names on the small screen. There are shows that will be missed and some that we won’t shed a tear to see go, but it looks like we’ll have some interesting choices and familiar names to look forward to this fall. 

Photos via,,

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