Magazine article ADWEEK

Who Said Women Aren't Funny? Female Writers Have Emerged as a Driving Force Behind Comedy Pilots Being Ordered for the Coming Fall Season

Magazine article ADWEEK

Who Said Women Aren't Funny? Female Writers Have Emerged as a Driving Force Behind Comedy Pilots Being Ordered for the Coming Fall Season

Article excerpt

In a ludicrous--and roundly derided--Vanity-Fair column from 2007 titled "Why Women Aren't Funny," the late polemicist Christopher Hitchens argued that humor cannot be found in the absence of a Y chromosome. American television audiences might beg to differ.

Of the 44 comedy pilots ordered by the networks in anticipation of the 2012-13 season, 18 were conceived and/or written by women. NBC and ABC are leading the trend, accounting for 14 of the season's female-driven comedies, or exactly half their combined sitcom orders.

While NBC's comedic solar system is particularly female-centric--revolving as it does around the twin suns of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler--it did allow one homegrown talent to fall out of orbit. After the Peacock passed on an untitled workplace comedy written by The Office's Mindy Kaling, Fox snapped up the project. In what could be a good fit for Fox's freshman comedy hit New Girl, the Kaling project will star the multi-hyphenate as a young OB/GYN struggling to balance her personal and professional lives.

If Kaling's show gets a series order, she will also serve as an executive producer and writer, working alongside fellow Office producer Howard Klein. A slot in Fox's prime-time lineup would signal the end of Kaling's Office stint, further diminishing a series already reeling from the departure of star Steve Carrel. If Kaling leaves, she takes with her not only the flighty customer-service rep Kelly Kapoor but also her laptop. The 32-year-old has written more than 20 episodes of The Office, including the Emmynominated two-parter "Niagara. …

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