DGA Report Finds Director Diversity in Episodic Television Remains Static

October 2, 2013

LOS ANGELES – The Directors Guild of America today released a report analyzing the ethnicity and gender of directors hired to direct primetime episodic television across broadcast, basic cable and premium cable. 

The DGA analyzed more than 3,300 episodes produced in the 2012-2013 network television season and the 2012 cable television season from more than 200 scripted television series.  The report showed that Caucasian males directed 72% of all episodes; Caucasian females directed 12% of all episodes; minority males directed 14% of all episodes and minority females directed 2% of all episodes.  Among one-hour series, Caucasian males directed 74% of all episodes, and in half-hour series, Caucasian males directed 70% of all episodes.

Comparing figures for 2012-2013 with figures for 2011-2012, this year’s report shows that:

  • The percentage of episodes directed by Caucasian males decreased from 73% to 72%;
  • The percentage of episodes directed by Caucasian females increased from 11% to 12%;
  • The percentage of episodes directed by minority males increased from 13% to 14%; and
  • The percentage of episodes directed by minority females decreased from 4% to 2%. 

The DGA has now issued three consecutive years of data examining the diversity of hiring practices for episodic television.  The bar graph below shows that diversity hiring statistics in episodic television have remained virtually unchanged across those three years.

Caucasian males still directed nearly three-quarters of all episodic television; the remaining 28% of episodes were divided among minority males (14%) and women (14%, with Caucasian females at 12% and minority females at 2%). 

The shows highlighted below are from major production companies ABC, CBS, Fox, HBO, NBC, Sony, Warner Bros. and other production companies whose shows appear on broadcast, basic cable, and premium cable networks. This year’s report also includes, for the first time, high-budget original content shows made under a DGA agreement for the Internet: House of Cards; Arrested Development; Hemlock Grove; and Orange is the New Black.  Pilots are not included in the statistics.

Additional data on the more than 200 series included in this year’s report can be found at the bottom of this page.


DGA's "WORST OF" Lists

Following are the shows with the worst records of hiring women and minority directors for the 2012-2013 television season:


Title (Production Company/Network) – Percentage of Episodes by Women or Minority Directors:

  1. After Lately (CP Entertainment Services/E!) – 0%
  2. The Exes (King Street Productions/TV Land) – 0%
  3. Falling Skies (Turner North Center Productions/TNT) – 0%
  4. Hemlock Grove (Ouroboros Productions/Netflix) – 0%
  5. Hot in Cleveland (King Street Productions/TV Land ) – 0%
  6. iCarly (Uptown Productions/Nickelodeon) – 0%
  7. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Sunny Television Productions/FX) – 0%
  8. Maron (TVM Productions/IFC) – 0%
  9. Sullivan & Son (Horizon Scripted Television/TBS) – 0%
  10. Supernatural (NS Pictures/CW) – 0%
  11. Underemployed (On Site Productions/MTV) – 0%
  12. Workaholics (50/50 Productions/Comedy Central) – 0%
  13. Zach Stone is Gonna Be Famous (On Site Productions/MTV) – 0%



  1. Anger Management (Anger Productions/FX) – 2%
  2. Teen Wolf (On Site Productions/MTV) – 4%
  3. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS Broadcasting/CBS) – 5%
  4. Dog with a Blog (It’s a Laugh Productions/Disney Channel) – 5%
  5. The Neighbors (FTP Productions/ABC) – 5%
  6. Nikita (NS Pictures/CW) – 5%
  7. Whitney (NBC Studios/NBC) – 6%
  8. Boardwalk Empire (Home Box Office/HBO) – 8%
  9. Californication (Showtime Pictures Development Company/Showtime) – 8%
  10. Crash and Bernstein (It’s a Laugh Productions/Disney XD) – 8%
  11. Fringe (Warner Bros. Television/FOX) – 8%)
  12. Homeland (Pacific 2.1 Entertainment Group/Showtime) – 8%
  13. House of Lies (Showtime Pictures Development Company/Showtime) – 8%
  14. NCIS (CBS Studios/CBS) – 8%
  15. Goodwin Games (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation/FOX) – 9%
  16. Graceland (TVM Productions/USA Network) – 9%
  17. Bates Motel (NBC Studios/A&E) – 10%
  18. Hell on Wheels (Entertainment One Television USA/AMC) – 10%
  19. Nurse Jackie (Nurse Productions/Showtime) – 10%
  20. True Blood (Home Box Office/HBO) – 10%
  21. Longmire (Horizon Scripted Television/A&E) – 11%
  22. The Office (Universal Network Television/NBC) – 11%
  23. New Girl (Twentieth Century Fox Television/FOX) – 12%
  24. Castle (ABC Studios/ABC) – 13%
  25. Dallas (Horizon Scripted Television/TNT) – 13%
  26. Enlightened (Home Box Office/HBO) – 13%
  27. In Plain Sight (Universal Network Television/USA Network) – 13%
  28. Leverage (Leverage Productions/TNT) – 13%
  29. Magic City (Starz Miami Productions/Starz!) – 13%
  30. The Mindy Project (Open 4 Business Productions/FOX) – 13%
  31. Rizzoli & Isles (Horizon Scripted Television/TNT) – 13%
  32. White Collar (TVM Productions/USA Network) – 13%
  33. Friend Me (Eye Productions/CBS) – 14%
  34. Once Upon a Time (Digital 49 Productions/ABC) – 14%
  35. Red Widow (Digital 49 Productions/ABC) – 14%
  36. Scandal (FTP Productions/ABC) – 14%


DGA's "BEST OF" List

At the same time, the following shows are highlighted for hiring above the industry average in the 2012-2013 production cycle:


  1. The Game (Breakdown Productions/BET) – 100%
  2. The Hustle (Marlowe Productions/Fuse) – 100%
  3. The Real Husbands of Hollywood (JSR Productions/BET) – 100%
  4. The Rickey Smiley Show (Smiley Face Productions/TV One) – 100%
  5. Single Ladies (Bling Productions/VH1) – 86%
  6. Treme (Home Box Office/HBO) – 80%
  7. Reed Between the Lines (Breakdown Productions/BET) – 75%
  8. Lab Rats (It’s a Laugh Productions/Disney XD) – 73%
  9. Mike & Molly (Bonanza Productions/CBS) – 70%
  10. Second Generation Wayans (Breakdown Productions/BET) – 70%
  11. Guys with Kids (Open 4 Business Productions/NBC) – 63%
  12. Emily Owens, MD (CBS Overseas Productions Two/CW) – 62%
  13. The Carrie Diaries (Warner Bros. Television/CW) – 58%
  14. Marvin, Marvin (Uptown Productions/Nickelodeon) – 58%
  15. The Following (Bonanza Productions/FOX) – 57%
  16. Drop Dead Diva (Woodridge Productions/Lifetime) – 54%
  17. Private Practice (ABC Studios/ABC) – 54%
  18. Awkward (On Site Productions/MTV) – 50%
  19. Girls (Home Box Office/HBO) – 50%
  20. Luck (Home Box Office/HBO) – 50%
  21. Modern Family (Twentieth Century Fox Television/ABC) – 50%
  22. See Dad Run (Uptown Productions/Nickelodeon) – 47%
  23. 30 Rock (NBC Studios/NBC) – 46%
  24. Mistresses (FTP Productions/ABC) – 46%
  25. Raising Hope (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation/FOX) – 46%
  26. The Good Wife (Eye Productions/CBS) – 45%
  27. Grimm (Open 4 Business Productions/NBC) – 45%
  28. Suits (Open 4 Business Productions/USA Network) – 44%
  29. The New Normal (Twentieth Century Fox Television/NBC) – 43%
  30. Switched at Birth (Prodco/ABC Family) – 43%
  31. Grey’s Anatomy (ABC Studios/ABC) – 42%
  32. Hawaii Five-0 (Eye Productions/CBS) – 42%
  33. Last Resort (Woodridge Productions/ABC) – 42%
  34. The Middle (Warner Bros. Television/ABC) – 42%
  35. Save Me (Remote Broadcasting/NBC) – 42%
  36. Zero Hour (FTP Productions/ABC) – 42%
  37. 90210 (Eye Productions/CW) – 41%
  38. Bunheads (Prodco/ABC Family) – 41%
  39. Pair of Kings (It’s a Laugh Productions/Disney XD) – 41%
  40. Banshee (Home Box Office/Cinemax) – 40%
  41. Cougar Town (FTP Productions/TBS) – 40%
  42. Ben & Kate (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation/FOX) – 39%
  43. Body of Proof (FTP Productions/ABC) – 38%
  44. Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 (Twentieth Century Fox Television/ABC) – 38%
  45. The Secret Life of the American Teenager (American Teenager/ABC Family) – 38%
  46. Sons of Anarchy (Pacific 2.1 Entertainment Group/FX) – 38%
  47. The Big C (Remote Broadcasting/Showtime) – 36%
  48. CSI: NY (CBS Broadcasting/CBS) – 35%
  49. Nashville (Music City Productions/ABC) – 35%
  50. Smash (NBC Studios/NBC) – 35%
  51. Vegas (Eye Productions/CBS) – 35%
  52. 1600 Penn (Twentieth Century Fox Television Worldwide Productions/NBC) – 33%
  53. Big Time Rush (Uptown Productions/Nickelodeon) – 33%
  54. Cult (NS Pictures/CW) – 33%
  55. Devious Maids (ABC Studios/Lifetime) – 33%
  56. Go On (Open 4 Business Productions/NBC) – 33%
  57. Made in Jersey (Woodridge Productions/CBS) – 33%
  58. The Newsroom (Home Box Office/HBO) – 33%
  59. Pretty Little Liars (Horizon Scripted Television/ABC Family) – 33%
  60. Psych (Universal Network Television/USA Network) – 33%
  61. Shameless (Bonanza Productions/Showtime) – 33%
  62. Bones (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation/FOX) – 32%
  63. Hart of Dixie (Bonanza Productions/CW) – 32%
  64. Suburgatory (Bonanza Productions/ABC) – 32%
  65. Warehouse 13 (Universal Network Television/Syfy) – 32%
  66. Community (Remote Broadcasting/NBC) – 31%
  67. Necessary Roughness (Woodridge Productions/USA Network) – 31%
  68. The Walking Dead (Stalwart Films/AMC) – 31%
  69. Boss (Boss Kane Productions/Starz!) – 30%
  70. Elementary (Eye Productions/CBS) – 30%
  71. Franklin & Bash (Woodridge Productions/TNT) – 30%
  72. The Glades (TVM Productions/A&E) – 30%
  73. Wendell & Vinnie (Uptown Productions/Nickelodeon) – 30%

The DGA included series that completed their runs or were cancelled mid-season on this year’s “Best Of” and “Worst Of” lists.  Additionally, the total number of scripted series increased this year.  For this reason, both the “Best Of” and “Worst Of” lists appear to be longer than in previous reports but this does not in fact indicate that a greater percentage of shows made it onto either list.

Shows that are primarily directed by only one director for the entire season were included in the overall data, but are not singled out in the lists above.  Similarly, foreign series shot abroad with a significant number of episodes that were not covered by a DGA agreement were also not included in the lists above, but the episodes that were made under a DGA agreement were included in the overall statistics.  The shows that meet either criteria include Arrested Development; Baby Daddy; The Big Bang Theory; The Borgias; Continuum; Deadtime Stories; Doll & Em; Family Tree; The First Family; How I Met Your Mother; Last Man Standing; The League; Legit; Level Up; Louie; Mr. Box Office; Partners; Rogue; The Soul Man; Spartacus; Two and a Half Men; Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse; Vikings; Wilfred.


The most noticeable change from last year’s statistics was the drop in the percentage of episodes directed by minority females from 4% to 2%.  Further analysis shows that the total number of episodes directed by minority females overall is low enough that the cancellation of a single series, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, significantly impacted this figure.  Once again, too many shows also failed to reach even the low threshold of hiring women or minorities for at least 15% of episodes in a season.

“I applaud the shows whose diverse hiring practices landed them a spot on our “Best Of” list. Some of them have clearly made a big commitment to diversity, and I think they’ve been well-served by it. I’d even point out that many of the most acclaimed and honored television episodes of the year were directed by a woman or a minority,” said Betty Thomas, Co-Chair of the DGA National Board’s Diversity Task Force and DGA First Vice President. “But we can’t ignore the shows on our “Worst Of” lists – how is it possible, in this day and age, that more than a dozen series didn’t hire even a single woman or minority director all season?”

Over the past three years, DGA executives and members of the Diversity Task Force held nearly 20 meetings with production companies specifically to address diversity in hiring.  Additional meetings were held at the individual show level.

The Guild’s African American, Asian American, Latino and Women’s Committees continue to hold networking events with producers, networks and studio representatives to introduce talented directors to key producers and television executives.  Additionally, several diversity programs that were established years ago by production companies, at the urging of the Guild, continue to give women and minority directors exposure to executive producers and others who make hiring decisions, but as the statistics demonstrate, these programs have yet to make any demonstrable difference. 

The DGA also maintains a contact list of experienced women and minority directors to make it easier for producers making hiring decisions.  The list is handed out during the meetings with networks, studios, production companies and individual series, and can be obtained by any production company by contacting the DGA.

“A quarter of the 200 series we examined didn’t hire enough women or minorities to avoid winding up on our “Worst Of” lists.  That means they hired fewer than two women or minority directors for every 13 episodes they shot,” said Jesús Treviño, Co-Chair of the Diversity Task Force and Alternate Board Member.  “If every one of those shows simply doubled the number of women or minorities they hire, we’d start to see some real progress.  And if they made a genuine commitment to diversity – wow, what a difference that would make.”


Additional Data

Click the links below to download PDF spreadsheets of the full DGA Episodic Diversity Report organized by specific criteria:

Report by % of Episodes Directed by Women & Minorities (PDF)

Report by % of Episodes Directed by Women (PDF)

Report by % of Episodes Directed by Minorities (PDF)

Report by Show Title (PDF)

Report by Signatory Company (PDF)

Report by Network (PDF)


For any questions regarding the data included in these spreadsheets, please contact Sahar Moridani at 310-289-5333 or email sahar.moridani@dga.org.


The DGA compiled the statistics for this report from information provided by the production companies to the DGA pursuant to the requirements of the collective bargaining agreement for episodes produced during the 2012-2013 season, and then validated the data directly with the shows themselves, and then again with a labor relations representative at the production company if available.  A few shows failed to verify their statistics, in which case the DGA made its best effort to validate the data with someone at the production company level.   

DGA Communications Department (310) 289-5333
The Good Fight

Over the past 30 years, Guild diversity committees have advanced the cause of women and minority members.