Fall 2010 TV Season – Shows Created by Women

by Melissa Silverstein on May 24, 2010

in TV,Women Writers

The fall lineups have been set (including some mid-season shows) so it’s time to see how women creatives have fared.

Here’s what we have been able to find out (research assistance from Stephanie Rosenfeld)

Fox – Five new shows- no female creators

ABC- Seven new shows – 2 female creators – one comedy, one drama

CBS – Five new shows – no female creators

NBC – Eight news shows – 2 female creators – one comedy, one drama

CW- Two new shows – no female creators

Common theme I noticed, shows about women by women didn’t make the cut.  But there are a bunch of shows about women by men that did.  I will look at them in a later post.

Off the Map – Jenna Bans – creator. This show is executive produced by Shonda Rhimes and that means that Shonda now has her hands in three shows on this network.

Better Together –  Shana Goldberg-Meehan – creator. Goldberg-Meehan is the daughter of Gard David Goldberg and wrote for many years on Friends.

ABC pilots that didn’t make the cut

Wright vs. Wrong – Stephnie Weir – creator and starring Debra Messing

Awkward Situations for Men – creators- Jeff & Jackie Filgo

Cutthroat – Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters – creators (A dramedy about an ambitious Beverly Hills single mother who runs an international drug cartel.)

CBS pilots that didn’t make the cut

I Witness – Trey Calloway & Pam Veasey creators (A detective/professor uses her psycho-physiological skills to solve crimes.)

Untitled Burgess/Green project – Mitchell Burgess & Robin Green – creators

Untitled Medical – Hannah Shakespeare – creator – John Wells EP (A mobile medical team travels the U.S. helping those in need.- 3 female leads)

Open Books – Gail Lerner – creator (About a female book editor and her circle of friends.)


Chase – Jennifer Johnson -creator

Love Bites – Cindy Chupack – creator


CW pilots that didn’t make the cut
Betwixt – Elizabeth Chandler – creator (Revolves around “changelings” who are responsible for saving humans from evil; based on novel of the same name.)

Untitled Amy Holden Jones – Amy Holden Jones- creator (Aspirational, sexy freshmen class at Harvard Medical School embark on the biggest challenge of their lives, seen through the eyes of a young woman who is excited and intimidated by her surroundings)
Untitled Wyoming Project
 – Amy Sherman-Palladino & Dan Palladino – creators (Family soap set on a horse farm in a small town in the Midwest or the Rockies.

And we lost a number of female created shows to cancellation including:

Mercy (NBC) – Liz Heldens
Cold Case (CBS) – Meredith Stiehm
New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS)- Kari Lizer
Accidentally on Purpose (CBS)- Claudia Lonow

3 shows created by women with  female leads on CBS are now gone.

TV Guide Fall Schedule

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

cammy May 24, 2010 at 2:29 PM

“Untitled Burgess/Green project – Mitchell Burgess & Robin Green – creators”

This is in the wrong category. It did, in fact, ‘make the cut.’ It’s now named “Blue Bloods” (fka “Reagan’s Law”) and is on CBS’ schedule for fall.

sally May 24, 2010 at 5:44 PM

I believe in Julia Louis-Dreyfus, but “The New Adventures” seemed to really get bad for all the reasons that sought to make it a man-focused show. I mean, the focus on the ex-husband was strangling and uninteresting. Didn’t the “Gary Unmarried” get axed too? We don’t care about emmeshed exes. At a certain point, you wonder why EVERY show is about their ex: in the case of Gary, the ex mopping up his problems, being the responsible one. In the case of Christine, being Homer Simpson, always falling on his feet, while Christine is punished. In either show, you can’t have a free-wheeling woman without punishment. Men or women don’t want to watch that.

Accidently on Purpose was awful and it seemed to be green lighted on some wacky formula that tried to hit all the interest blips for ratings: older woman/younger man; most actors are in their twenties and guys – despite it being a “chick show”; preggers (sorta like Juno, but…not!); “Knocked Up” need I say more?; some strange attraction of studio execs to Jenna that’s inexplictable. I wonder if the show was ever what the creator intended and whether the show was a Margaret Cho “All American Girl” situation.

With all the comedic talent out there, let’s have a great unapologetic women’s comedy that doesn’t involve: the ex as a major character, “hot college coeds!,” wacky younguns that she has to live with/interact with, the word “cougar” in the show description, vampires (unless it is all about Pam the Vampire, who deserves a comedy on her), a wacky pregnancy, or being married to a Homer Simpson type.

Funny, 30 Rock doesn’t have any of those things and has been on the air. Or any of the greatly successful female comedies that I remember. Sure, “Lucy” had a pregnancy but it was not the premise, but SHE was the Homer Simpson in the marriage. Do we ever see that model anymore where the wife is the irresponsible dreamer/fun maker? How radical.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus was added to Seinfeld as an equal to the others after the creators were basically forced to – how did that work out? They couldn’t initially imagine her.

But how about Ab Fab. Or Designing Women. Or Roseanne. Or Maude. Why is it that we have to go back in time to find examples of a half-hour woman-character led comedy?

A Day Without Me May 25, 2010 at 12:35 AM

FlashForward wasn’t a female-created show, but it had a few strong female characters in it, one of whom was over the age of thirty-five, and one of whom was a lesbian. It got axed =( I really liked it, but I’m also deeply bothered by its cancellation since it not only had strong female characters, but it also had a very racially diverse cast.

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Alice Charles May 28, 2010 at 12:04 PM

The fall line-up is definitely a cause for concern. Once again the networks have pretty much ignored more than half of the viewing audience – and executives wonder why audiences are shrinking. It’s interesting that so many do not value women as consumers when there are any number of studies that show that women are often responsible for household budgets.

Theodore Sandmeier August 18, 2011 at 2:23 AM

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Rachelle LaRae March 4, 2015 at 4:03 PM

This is what we do girls: As female writers trying to break into this business, we should just webcast our own shows; gain a fan base; and then show the network execs that shows created by women can make it. Women always have to prove something before we are allowed to try, so let’s do just that!

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