ReFrame Report finds increase in number of women showrunners; nearing gender parity in writing and directing credits; men still dominate in directing pilots
Los Angeles, CA — IMDbPro and ReFrame, an initiative of Sundance Institute and Women in Film (WIF), today announced that 94 of the 200 most popular scripted series of the 2022-23 season have been awarded their ReFrame Stamp for gender-balanced hiring. A full list is provided below.
The ReFrame TV Stamp, launched in 2018, is awarded to scripted series that hire women or people of other underrepresented genders (including those who are trans, non-binary or gender non-conforming) in at least 50% of key roles including: showrunner, writers, directors, producers, lead, co-leads, and department heads. Additional points are awarded to productions that hire women of color in these key positions, and to those with overall gender parity in their crews. View full criteria here.
The 94 awardees represent 47% of the 200 most popular scripted series, which is equivalent to the 2021-22 season results. Additionally, the ReFrame Report, released today and featuring an in-depth analysis of gender and hiring in TV, identifies positive progress in several areas: an increase in episodes directed by women (40%, up from 36% last year) parity achieved in episodes written by women (50.08%, up from 48.4% last year), as well as a record-breaking 54% of popular series featuring a woman in the lead acting role (up from 45.5% last year). Key findings of the Report, determined by ReFrame’s extensive analysis of data provided by IMDbPro on 1,977 episodes, include:
- There are more women running the show. 32.5% of all series had at least one female showrunner, up from 29.5% last year. 9.5% had a woman of color showrunner, up from last year’s 3.5%.
- More women writers are getting episode credit. 50.08% of the analyzed episodes were written or co-written by women. 55% of network TV episodes, 50% of streaming episodes, and 39% of cable episodes had at least one woman credited as writer or co-writer.
- While directing hires are nearing gender parity, pilot directing jobs remain primarily in the hands of male directors. 40% of directing jobs on the Top 200 shows went to women, up from 36% last year. But of the 113 pilot episodes on the list, only 31 (27%) were directed by women. Only 3 pilots were directed by women of color, and all were for streaming services (no network or cable shows hired a woman of color to direct a pilot on the list).
- Series with women in the lead role hit an all-time high, and supporting casts are diversifying. 108 of the 200 shows analyzed featured a woman in the top-billed acting role (54%), with 39 of those being women of color (19.5%). This represents an increase from the prior year, when 91 (45.5%) of the top-billed roles went to women, and 21 of those were women of color (10.5%). 152 series (76%) had a supporting cast that was composed of at least 50% women or people of other underrepresented genders. 129 series (64.5%) had a supporting cast that was composed of at least 25% women of color.
- For the second consecutive year, the majority of Emmy Nominees for Outstanding Comedy Series received the Stamp. 5 of the 8 top comedies (Abbott Elementary, Only Murders in the Building, The Bear, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Wednesday) met the gender-balanced production criteria, while only 1 of the 8 nominated series in the Outstanding Drama category (Yellowjackets) earned the Stamp. This represents a decline from the prior year when 3 of the 8 drama nominees qualified.
“Our research shows that scripted television has been far outpacing studio features in the movement towards gender parity, in front of and behind the camera,’ said Andria Wilson Mirza, Director of ReFrame. “For the first time, we have hit the 50% mark in episodic writing credits for women, and 40% in directing. As we celebrate this positive progress, and the shows and showrunners that drove these averages up, we want to also point out that a third of the series that earned the Stamp this year have since been canceled. As we look forward to a return to development and production of scripted television, it’s imperative that gender parity remains a priority, and that progress doesn’t stall or backslide just as women are gaining ground.”
The ReFrame Report also includes a company report card, indicating the percentage of shows from each studio, streamer and network that met ReFrame Stamp criteria. Netflix, Disney and Amazon each saw year-over-year increases in the percentage of Stamped series in their lineup, while fewer series from Paramount, Warner Bros. Discovery, and Apple earned the Stamp.
To determine the 2022-23 Stamp recipients, ReFrame examined IMDbPro data on the 200 most popular narrative television and streaming shows with a full season of episodes released during the Emmys eligibility period of June 1, 2022 – May 31, 2023. See the full list here. Each show was considered for the list based on its top-performing four weeks during the eligibility period on the IMDbPro proprietary ranking of titles, factoring in the removal of sports, news, non-fiction and reality programs. IMDbPro rankings are based on the actual page views of the more than 200 million monthly visitors to IMDb worldwide. IMDb is the world’s most popular and authoritative source for information on movies, TV shows and celebrities, and its vast and authoritative database features more than 500 hundred million searchable data items.
ReFrame encourages all scripted productions to implement equitable hiring practices and apply to earn the ReFrame Stamp year-round. Through an open application process, numerous television and streaming productions outside of the Top 200 earned the Stamp in 2022-23, including Station 19 (ABC), High School (Amazon), Unprisoned (Hulu) and Grease: Rise of The Pink Ladies (Paramount +). The list of all 2022-2023 Stamped shows is available below, on ReFrame’s website and at IMDb.com/ReFrame.
Founded and led by Sundance Institute and Women In Film, Los Angeles (WIF), ReFrame is an initiative that employs a unique strategy: a peer-to-peer approach, in which ReFrame Ambassadors engage with senior industry decision-makers at over 50 Partner Companies to implement ReFrame systemic change programs. The initiative’s goals are to provide research, support, and a practical framework that can be used by Partner companies to mitigate bias during the creative decision-making and hiring process, celebrate successes, and measure progress toward a more gender-representative industry on all levels.
The ReFrame Council, which leads the strategic direction of the organization with ReFrame Director Andria Wilson Mirza, includes the initiative’s founding members, WIF Executive Director Kirsten Schaffer, former Sundance CEO Keri Putnam, and Oscar-winning producer, WIF President Emeritas and founder of Welle Entertainment Cathy Schulman, alongside Channing Dungey (Chairman, Warner Bros. Television Group), Franklin Leonard (Founder, The Black List), Rena Ronson (Head of UTA Independent Film Group), and Michelle Satter (Founding Senior Director, Artist Programs, Sundance Institute).
ReFrame is made possible by support from Netflix’s Creative Equity Fund, IMDbPro, The David and Lura Lovell Foundation, The Harnisch Foundation, WME, Adobe, Delta Air Lines, and the Women at Sundance Leadership Council.
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About Sundance Institute
As a champion and curator of independent stories, the Sundance Institute provides and preserves the space for artists across storytelling media to create and thrive. Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, the Institute’s signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. Sundance Collab, a digital community platform, brings a global cohort of working artists together to learn from each other and Sundance Advisors and connect in a creative space, developing and sharing works in progress. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences and artists to ignite new ideas, discover original voices, and build a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported and showcased such projects as Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), CODA, Flee, Passing, Clemency, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Zola, On the Record, Boys State, The Farewell, Honeyland, One Child Nation, The Souvenir, The Infiltrators, Sorry to Bother You, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Hereditary, Call Me By Your Name, Get Out, The Big Sick, Mudbound, Fruitvale Station, City So Real, Top of the Lake, Between the World & Me, Wild Goose Dreams and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
Founded in 1973 as Women In Film, Los Angeles, WIF is celebrating 50 years of working for gender equity. WIF’s advocacy, career programs, and research efforts are a driving force for increasing representation of women and people of underrepresented genders in Hollywood. WIF works to dismantle gender bias in the screen industries by building the pipeline, sustaining careers, and advocating for change. Membership is open to all screen industry professionals, and more information can be found on our website: wif.org. Follow WIF on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube.
2022 – 2023 ReFrame Stamp – IMDbPro Top 200 Scripted TV Recipients
Listed in alphabetical order, below are the Stamped shows for the 2022-2023 season. TV shows that applied for the ReFrame Stamp as part of their production process are indicated with a *.
9-1-1 / FOX: Season 6
A Friend of the Family / Peacock: Season 1
A League of Their Own / Amazon: Season 1
A Small Light / Disney+, National Geographic Channel: Season 1
Abbott Elementary / ABC: Season 2
Alaska Daily / ABC: Season 1
American Horror Stories / Hulu: Season 2
*Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches / AMC: Season 1
Bad Sisters / Apple TV+: Season 1
Beef / Netflix: Season 1
Blockbuster / Netflix: Season 1
Daisy Jones and the Six / Amazon: Season 1
Dead Ringers / Amazon: Season 1
Dead to Me / Netflix: Season 3
Devil in Ohio / Netflix: Season 1
Doom Patrol / Max: Season 4
Echoes / Netflix: Season 1
Evil / Paramount +: Season 3
Extraordinary / Hulu: Season 1
Fatal Attraction / Paramount +: Season 1
Firefly Lane / Netflix: Season 2
First Kill / Netflix: Season 1
Fleishman Is in Trouble / Hulu: Season 1
From Scratch / Netflix: Season 1
Ginny & Georgia / Netflix: Season 2
*Grey’s Anatomy / ABC: Season 19
Heartbreak High / Netflix: Season 1
In the Dark / The CW: Season 4
Industry / HBO: Season 2
Inside Job / Netflix: Season 1.5
Keep Breathing / Netflix: Season 1
Locke & Key / Netflix: Season 3
Loot / Apple TV+: Season 1
Love & Death / Max: Season 1
Lucky Hank / AMC: Season 1
Mike / Hulu: Season 1
Mrs. Davis / Peacock: Season 1
Ms. Marvel / Disney +: Season 1
National Treasure: Edge of History / Disney +: Season 1
Never Have I Ever / Netflix: Season 3
Night Court / NBC: Season 1
Not Dead Yet / ABC: Season 1
Obsession / Netflix: Season 1
Only Murders in the Building / Hulu: Season 2
Paper Girls / Amazon: Season 1
Partner Track / Netflix: Season 1
Perry Mason / HBO: Season 2
Poker Face / Peacock: Season 1
Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin / Max: Season 1
*Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story / Netflix: Season 1
Reservation Dogs / Hulu: Season 2
Resident Evil / Netflix: Season 1
Schmigadoon! / Apple TV+: Season 2
School Spirits / Paramount +: Season 1
Servant / Apple TV+: Season 4
Sex/Life / Netflix: Season 2
Shadow and Bone / Netflix: Season 2
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law / Disney +: Season 1
Swarm / Amazon: Season 1
Tales of the Walking Dead / AMC: Season 1
Tell Me Lies / Hulu: Season 1
That ’90s Show / Netflix: Season 1
The Bear / Hulu: Season 1
The Company You Keep / ABC: Season 1
The Diplomat / Netflix: Season 1
The Handmaid’s Tale / Hulu: Season 5
The Imperfects / Netflix: Season 1
The Last Thing He Told Me / Apple TV+: Season 1
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power/ Amazon: Season 1
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel / Amazon: Season 5
The Midnight Club / Netflix: Season 1
The Power / Amazon: Season 1
The Resort / Peacock: Season 1
The Rookie: Feds / ABC: Season 1
The Serpent Queen / Starz: Season 1
The Sex Lives of College Girls / Max: Season 2
The Summer I Turned Pretty / Amazon: Season 1
The Witcher: Blood Origin / Netflix: Season 1
Three Pines / Amazon: Season 1
Tiny Beautiful Things / Hulu: Season 1
Transatlantic / Netflix: Season 1
Treason / Netflix: Season 1
True Lies / CBS: Season 1
Vampire Academy / Peacock: Season 1
Velma / Max: Season 1
Virgin River / Netflix: Season 4
Warrior Nun / Netflix: Season 2
Wednesday / Netflix: Season 1
Welcome to Chippendales / Hulu: Season 1
Westworld / HBO: Season 4
Willow / Disney+: Season 1
Workin’ Moms / Netflix: Season 7
XO, Kitty / Netflix: Season 1
Yellowjackets / Showtime: Season 2
Additional Scripted Series outside of the Top 200 that applied for and received the ReFrame Stamp:
All American: Homecoming / The CW: Season 2
Good Trouble / Freeform: Season 5
Gordita Chronicles / Max: Season 1
Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies / Paramount+: Season 1
High School / Freevee: Season: 1
Single Drunk Female / Freeform: Season 2
Skymed / Paramount+: Season 1
Station 19 / ABC: Season 6
The L Word: Generation Q / Showtime: Season 3
The Ms. Pat Show / BET+: Season 3
The Watchful Eye / Freeform: Season 1
Unprisoned / Hulu: Season 1
Up Here / Hulu: Season 1