Women to Watch in September: Fall Television Special
The Fall Television Schedule is also STACKED.
Yes, you heard me right - there were TOO MANY female directed (written, directed, produced, you name it) projects to list in one post this month. Enter the Fall Television special - wherein we list every bit of tv programming created by women in September.
It's a big task (YES!), but somebody's gotta do it.
This list is about Women creators.
Specifically, any fall television show that is created by a woman is featured here. In the world of television, created by can mean many things - from executive producer to showrunner to head writer, there are many ways for women to run the show.
In creating this month's television specific Women to Watch list, I've tried my best to vet each program for women in these roles. I may have missed some - if you notice, make sure you tell me about it (I will research myself and add them).
Why is this list so much longer than usual?
For one, FALL TELEVISION. I can't use that buzzword enough. Although Netflix and Hulu are game changing in terms of when they release their original programming, some things remain the same. The ambush of new fall shows is one of them.
Every network and their mother will have something to offer starting this month and going into the next. Obviously, you're not going to watch all of them (unless you're my mother - how does she do it?!).
However, if you're looking for the best way to give the women on this list (and those yet to come) their due, try to watch some of them. The more you watch, the more the ratings (however the hell they calculate those these days) will reflect that. The more you tweet about it, the more the studios will listen. The more you don't shut up about women's work, the more work they're going to get.
That's the hope.
And what about film?
There's another list for that. Usually I cover film and television in one post (you're not crazy), but as discussed, this month was quite simply bangin' with work. For a list of September theatrical releases written and directed by women, drop by part one of this post. Then get yourself to a theater.
If you're in the mood to be lazy (who am I to judge?), stick with the fall television list for right now, and get yourself to a couch. STAT.
The Disclaimer: I researched each title myself and had no singular source list. While this list is hopefully expansive, it is not exhaustive. If I'm missing a project that you know has a female creator, executive producer, female lead writer's room, drop me a line and I'll gladly add it to the list.
Fall Television Premieres
Shows premiering in September 2016.
Loosely Exactly Nicole
(comedy) - Showrunner/Executive Producer Christine Zander, premieres September 5 on MTV
"Nicole Byer is living the Hollywood dream. Well, Hollywood adjacent – the deep valley to be precise and it’s not so much a dream but a struggle. In this hilarious half-hour comedy, we’ll watch as Nicole, exuding her special brand of confidence and irreverence, demonstrates the hilarious missteps of what it means to be out on your own for the first time. She’ll deal with humiliating auditions, unpaid electric bills, friendship ups and downs, and the battlefield that is Tinder as she slowly but surely finds her voice as a comedian." [MTV]
(game show/music) - Executive Produced by Christina Aguilera, premieres September 1 on Spike
"... an innovative musical game show where teams of two face off in an attempt to name a song title just by listening to its individual tracks. Each episode features surprise celebrity guests and unexpected performances." [Spike]
The Killing of Jon-Benet: The Truth Uncovered
(documentary/special) - Executive Producers Janet Taylor (Mills Productions), Elaine Fronton Bryant, Laura Fleury (A&E), premieres September 5 on A&E
"On the morning of December 26, 1996, parents John and Patsy Ramsey awoke to find a ransom note for their missing 6-year-old daughter JonBenét before her brutally beaten and lifeless body was found in the basement of their home. Despite media storms, family accusations, false confessions, intruder theories and a grand jury hearing, the case has been unsolved for 20 years. Now, A&E reveals never-before-seen case details, including the first sit-down interview with John Ramsey marking the 20th anniversary of her brutal death, an interview from 1998 with JonBenét's older brother and exclusive and stunning DNA evidence that sheds new light on swirling allegations that the killer may have been be a family member." [A&E]
Mary + Jane
(comedy) - Co-Executive Producer Deborah Kaplan, premieres September 5 on MTV
"From writing/directing team and executive producers Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont (”Can’t Hardly Wait”) and Entertainment 360 (”Game of Thrones”) comes MTV's single camera, half-hour comedy about Jordan (Scout Durwood) and Paige (Jessica Rothe), two twenty-something best friends who run an all-female weed delivery service in Los Angeles. Filled with funny, raw and bizarre adventures, the show explores the uncharted territory as Los Angeles comes out of the Green Closet and gets into high and higher times." [MTV]
(drama) - Created by Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey, premieres September 6 on OWN
EDITOR'S NOTE: In a seriously unprecedented television move, DuVernay has chosen specific women directors to direct each episode of Queen Sugar, most of which have never directed for television before. More in this NYPost article.
"The series follows the life of two sisters, Nova Bordelon and Charley Bordelon, who, with her teenage son Micah moves to the heart of Louisiana to claim an inheritance from her recently departed father - an 800-acre sugarcane farm." [imdb]
(comedy) - Co-creator Pamela Adlon, premieres September 8 on FX
"...a new comedy series on FX co-created by Pamela Adlon and Louis C.K., starring Adlon as “Sam Fox,” a single, working actor with no filter trying to raise her three daughters – “Max” (Mikey Madison), “Frankie” (Hannah Alligood) and “Duke” (Olivia Edward) – in Los Angeles. She is mom, dad, referee and the cops. Sam also watches out for her mother, “Phil” (Celia Imrie), an English expatriate, who lives across the street. Sam’s just trying to earn a living, navigate her daughters’ lives, have fun with a friend or two and also — just maybe — squeeze in some private time once in a while." [FXNetworks]
(comedy) - Created by Tig Notaro and Diablo Cody, premieres September 9 on Amazon
"...a dark comedy inspired by comedian Tig Notaro's life. Tig returns to her hometown in Mississippi, where she contends with the death of her mother and her own mortality as she embarks on a painful yet hilarious journey that unearths uncomfortable truths about her family and her self." [Amazon]
(comedy) - Written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (based on her play), premieres September 16 on Amazon
"A six-part comedy series adapted from the award-winning play about a young woman trying to cope with life in London whilst coming to terms with a recent tragedy." [imdb]
(comedy) - Co-created by Katja Blichfeld (based on the web series), premieres September 16 on HBO
"A Brooklyn pot dealer delivers to clients with neuroses as diverse as his city." [HBO]
(drama) - Written by Colette Freedman (based on her play), premieres September 17 on Lifetime
"Mary Baxter (Jacki Weaver/Amy Smart, at different ages) led an enviable life, traveling the world as a young dancer.She was blessed with four daughters from four different fathers, each as unique as the cities they are named after: Carolina (Stana Katic), Austin (Jess Weixler), Dallas (Michelle Trachtenberg) and Baltimore (Troian Bellisario). After Mary’s death, her daughters reunite in their New England family home to mourn.As the local police investigate the circumstances of Mary’s death, old animosities among the sisters resurface, and a dark secret threatens to tear the family apart." [MyLifetime]
Audrie & Daisy
(documentary) - Co-directed by Bonni Cohen, premieres September 23 on Netflix
"...the parallel stories of two teenage girls who are sexually assaulted by boys they thought were friends. They both attempt suicide after being subjected to online harassment and school bullying." [Variety]
Iliza Shlesinger: Confirmed Kills
(comedy special) - Written/Performed by Iliza Shlesinger, premieres September 23 on Netflix
"Film[ed] April 23 at The Vic in Chicago, IL, smart, straight talking Iliza Shlesinger returns to Netflix with her 2nd original special, serving up her fearless and fresh brand of comedy that speaks to everyone." [Netflix]
Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee
(documentary feature) - Written/Performed by Nanette Burstein, premieres September 24 on Showtime
"Oscar-nominated filmmaker Nanette Burstein (On the Ropes, The Kid Stays in the Picture) delves into the strange story of John McAfee, who went from millionaire software mogul to yogi, Kurtz-like jungle recluse to potential murderer, and most recently a prospective presidential candidate for the American Libertarian Party." [TIFF]
Existing shows premiering new seasons in September.
Masters of Sex: Season 4
(drama) - Developed by Michelle Ashford, premieres September 11 on Showtime
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 4
(action/adventure) - Co-created by Maurissa Tancharoen, premieres September 20 on ABC
New Girl: Season 6
(action/adventure) - Created by Elizabeth Meriwether, premieres September 20 on FOX
Grey's Anatomy: Season 12
(drama) - Created by Shonda Rhimes, premieres September 22 on ABC
How To Get Away With Murder: Season 3
(drama) - Created by Shonda Rhimes, premieres September 22 on ABC
Transparent: Season 3
(comedy) - Created by Jill Soloway, premieres September 23 on Amazon
Poldark: Season 2
(drama) - Created by Debbie Horsfield, premieres September 25 on PBS
Continuing this month:
Difficult People: Season 2
Fridays on Hulu
Rizzoli & Isles: Season 7
Mondays at 9/8c on TNT *Season Finale September 5
Ray Donovan: Season 4
Sundays at 9/8c on Showtime *New episodes return September 11
Beauty and the Beast: Season 4
Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW *Series Finale September 15
What's on your Fall TV lineup?
Don't be shy - what are you watching? Better yet, once you've watched, what's good? Leave your thoughts and reviews on all the fall television you're watching in the comments. It'll help me decide what the heck to even start with this month.