Female TV Show Directors You Need To Know

Celebrate the incredibly talented and hard-working women behind-the-scenes of your favorite TV shows!

Credit: David Giesbrecht/Netflix

With the entertainment industry being male-dominated, a lot of female artists do not receive the recognition they deserve for their outstanding talent and hard work. To celebrate the female talent behind the scenes of the television industry, here is a list of female TV show directors you need to know because they have probably worked on your favorite shows.

Michelle MacLaren

You can see Michelle MacLaren’s name in the credits of some of the most popular TV shows from the past two decades. The Canadian director worked on episodes for The X-Files, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Westworld, and The Leftovers. MacLaren also stands out as the only female director in Game of Thrones history.

Pamela Fryman

Pamela Fryman directed all but twelve episodes of CBS’ beloved How I Met Your Mother. The sitcom director also worked on Frasier, Just Shoot Me, and her most recent involvement is on One Day at a Time, the remake of the 1975 CBS sitcom with the same title.

Lesli Linka Glatter

Twin Peaks, Gilmore Girls, Grey’s Anatomy, Freaks and Geeks, The Leftovers, and The Walking Dead – to name just a few of the shows that Lesli Linka Glatter has directed episodes for. She is also responsible for some of the best Homeland and Mad Men episodes.

Mimi Leder

Mimi Leder has been behind the scenes of your favorite tv shows for over three decades now. Beginning with L.A. Law in 1987, Leder has directed episodes for The West Wing and ER, as well as Shameless, The Leftovers, and The Morning Show.

Jennifer Lynch

Continuing her father’s legacy, Jennifer Lynch is credited for directing episodes of many popular TV shows. The Walking Dead, Quantico, Teen Wolf, American Horror Story, Once Upon a Time, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – just a few of the shows she has worked on. Lynch is also one of the directors working on the Gossip Girl reboot.

Beth McCarthy-Miller

Beth McCarthy-Miller has most likely directed your favorite comedy episodes. She has worked on shows like Parks and Recreation, Modern Family, Veep, Community, Black-ish, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. With their mutual passion for comedy, McCarthy-Miller has frequently worked with Tina Fey directing hilarious episodes of 30 Rock, Great News, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Reed Morano

Reed Morano is best known for her directing job on the first three episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale which set the visual palette for the whole show. Morano has also worked on Showtime’s Billions and AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire. In 2020 she directed the first season for adaptation of Naomi Alderman’s novel The Power. The show is currently in post-production and is expected to be released sometime this year.

Tricia Brock

Tricia Brock began her career working in television commercials and today has an impressively diverse TV resume. She is credited for directing episodes on shows like 30 Rock, The Walking Dead, Gossip Girl, Veronica Mars, Empire, Community, Girls, and more.

Jamie Babbit

Jamie Babbit began her career as Martin Scorsese’s intern on The Age of Innocence and today you can see her name in credits of almost every show you are watching. She has worked on episodes for Malcolm in the Middle, Gilmore Girls, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Girlboss, and A League of Their Own just to name a few. Besides directing episodes for Silicon Valley and Only Murders In The Building, she is also the Executive Producer for both shows.

Leslye Headland

Leslye Headland began her directing career with Bachelorette, a movie adaptation of her play that is fully written and directed by her. She has since shifted into directing for TV, working on episodes for SMILF, Heathers, Black Monday, and Almost Family. In 2019, Headland co-created the Netflix series Russian Doll, along with Natasha Lyonne and Amy Poehler. Most recently Headland has executive-produced and directed the first episode of Freeform’s upcoming Single Drunk Female.

Jennifer Getzinger

Jennifer Getzinger began her career as a script supervisor working on Sex and the City and The Sopranos until she made her episodic directorial debut on Mad Men. Her other directing credits include many episodes of Outlander, How to Get Away with Murder, Jessica Jones, Suits, and Westworld.

These are only a few names of the incredibly talented women working behind the scenes of the television industry. To highlight women working behind-the-scenes and inspire the next generations, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Aline Brosh McKenna launched #FemaleFilmmakerFriday, but ultimately the goal is to celebrate these incredibly talented and hard-working women every day!

About the Author

Ksenia Kuznetsova

Ksenia (Ksusha) Kuznetsova is a Film, Television, and Media Studies major and Business Administration minor student at Loyola Marymount University and an intern at AfterBuzz TV. She loves movies and tv shows, reading books, and sunny days at the beach.