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Emmys: How Women Fared in Top Series, Writing, Directing Categories

Variety logo Variety 7/13/2017 Cynthia Littleton
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Here’s a pleasant Emmy nominations surprise: “Homeland’s” Lesli Linka Glatter has some female company this year in the drama series directing competition. But few femmes made the cut in the comedy series writing and directing races.

Reed Morano, the rising-star helmer who generated raves for her work on the first three episodes of Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” is up for the series’ first installment, “Offred.” Kate Dennis of “Handmaid’s Tale” is also up for “The Bridge” episode. Morano is also nommed for cinematography for her work on the pilot for HBO’s “Divorce.”

Glatter has earned three consecutive directing noms for her work on “Homeland,” as well as in 2013. In 2010 she was up for the unforgettable “Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency” seg of “Mad Men.” This time around Glatter is recognized for the “America First” episode of “Homeland’s” sixth season.

Female showrunners made strides in representation in the drama series race. Lisa Joy is up for HBO’s “Westworld,” which she co-runs with Jonathan Nolan. Melissa James Gibson is co-showrunner of Netflix’s “House of Cards” with Frank Pugliese. Last year there were no women showrunners in the drama field.

Among comedy series, Tina Fey is the sole femme boss, in the running for her work alongside Robert Carlock on Netflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” Last year “Transparent’s” Jill Soloway was also in the race.

Comedy directing noms were spread among “Atlanta,” “Silicon Valley” (which took two slots), and “Veep” (which commanded three) but no women. In the comedy writing category, Lena Waithe was the sole femme nominee for the  “Thanksgiving” seg of “Master of None” that she co-wrote with Ansari.

The documentary categories were welcoming to female directors. Ava DuVernay landed writing and directing noms for nonfiction program for her work on Netflix’s “13th.” The documentary about mass incarceration earned a slot in the documentary or nonfiction special category. “13th” also yielded another rare bid for a female cinematographer, Kira Kelly, who is nominated with her fellow DP Hans Charles.

Elizabeth White was recognized for the “Islands” episode of BBC America’s “Planet Earth II.” Alexis Bloom is up for directing with Fisher Stevens the HBO doc “Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.”

Samantha Bee and showrunner Jo Miller made strides for women in latenight comedy as “Full Frontal With c” grabbed a variety-talk series nom as well as a bid for variety talk series writing. “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” also earned its sixth consecutive nom in the category under the direction of showrunner Jill Leiderman.

(Pictured: Lesli Linka Glatter, Reed Morano) 

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