Did you know that a woman hasn’t won American Idol (3.3/9) in six years? That will not be the case this year with the five remaining finalists all female. Which is why it was Ladies Night on Idol on Wednesday. What that actually meant for the live two-hour show was that Angie Miller, Janelle Arthur, Candice Glover, Kree Harrison and Amber Holcomb sang songs from the 1989 to 1994 years of their respective births. It also meant there was some more tension between female judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey with the former disagreeing with the latter’s assessment of one contestant with a “simmer down, sir.” Last night’s Idol was also up from last week. It rose 3% from the fast nationals of its April 11 show and, because there was no change last week, the same from that broadcast’s final numbers. This is the fourth broadcast in a row that Idol has seen consecutive growth. Hitting 12.4 millon viewers on Wednesday, Idol was also up 2% in overall viewers from last week’s final numbers. With the 8 PM to 10 PM Idol, Fox took top spot for the night in total viewers and among Adults 18-49.
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Vlada Gelman is West Coast Reporter at TVLine
Jane Levy had only one credit to her name – Showtime’s Shameless – before landing the lead role in ABC’s Suburgatory. But watching the young actress hold her own as Tessa Altman against established actors like Jeremy Sisto, Ana Gasteyer and Cheryl Hines, it’s clear her talent is greater than her years. Now, the ingénue is on the radar of Emmy voters too.
AWARDSLINE: What has it been like carrying a show?
LEVY: I don’t really feel like I am [but] I’m constantly told that. At first, it was heavily narrated, and most of the show was about either Tessa or George’s storyline. But halfway through the season, [creator] Emily [Kapnek] realized that we have such a strong ensemble cast and she had to use them. I feel extremely safe, like I don’t even need to do anything because I’m surrounded by incredible actors and hilarious people. I don’t feel the need to be funny because of them.
Related: EMMYS: Comedy Series Overview
Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
If the 2011-2012 TV schedule is any indication, girls just want to be funny. There are probably more new comedies created, co-created or executive-produced by women in primetime than at any time in history: 2 Broke Girls (Whitney Cummings), The B**** In Apartment 23 (co-creator Nahnatchka Khan) and Girls (Lena Dunham, 2011’s best first screenplay winner at the Independent Spirit Awards for Tiny Furniture). There are more who also might find themselves in the Emmy mix, and Awardsline spoke separately to some of them: Jessika Borsiczky, co-executive producer of Showtime’s House of Lies; Emily Kapnek, creator and co-executive producer of ABC’s Suburgatory; Elizabeth Meriwether, creator and co-executive producer of the Fox comedy New Girl and Emily Spivey, the Saturday Night Live veteran who created and is a co-executive producer of NBC’s Up All Night.
AWARDSLINE: There’s been a lot said about the new shows with women at the helm, especially in comedy. Certainly female comedy was a goldmine for the movies in 2011 with Bridesmaids. What’s going on?
EMILY SPIVEY: I think there just happened to be some ladies with ideas that people liked, I don’t think it was a big conspiracy to get a bunch of ‘lady shows’ on the air. The time has come when more ladies are trying comedy. In the past it was kind of a man thing, especially with stand-up. I think women are really finding their voices and being allowed to be a little more aggressive and speaking about topics that maybe a few years ago were a little more taboo than they are now.
JESSIKA BORSICZKY: We are sort of hitting a place where there’s some real seniority to women in television. When I started at HBO (in the movie division) in 1992 I certainly wasn’t running television shows, it took a long time. But obviously storytelling and movies reflect what’s interesting about our times. The universe of what it is to be a modern woman right now is deep, it’s changing, there’s a lot of fluctuation in family and marriage. Women are now out-earning men and out-educating men and having babies without men so there are a lot of stories to tell. And look at Girls, it’s also showing us a side of what it is to be a young woman that’s new.
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.
Do shows like Don’t Trust the B— In Apartment 23, CBS’ 2 Broke Girls and the Fox series New Girl mean we’re in some kind of women’s renaissance in network TV? At this morning’s TCA session on Apartment 23, creator/executive producer Nahnatchka Khan concluded, well, maybe. But in an afternoon panel featuring producers from ABC’s successful Wednesday night comedy block, the female showrunners of The Middle, Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline, pointed out that they’ve been funny for some time now — behind the scenes. “It’s exciting, but we always thought women had funny things to say,” said Heisler. “I think Tina Fey — and us — poked a little hole that allowed for this. We’ve been doing it for a while, and we’re glad to have company.” The Middle is a family show, not a snarky sitcom about a bitch or an emotionally unstable female roommate. But after the panel, Heisler said the show will continue to borrow as guest stars the veterans of that classic comedy about the “girl” who’s gonna make it after all, The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Harking back to his Lou Grant character, Ed Asner will portray the editor of the local paper.
ABC has ordered full seasons of its new series Revenge and Suburgatory. The network also has ordered six more scripts of its sophomore comedy Happy Endings. The news comes after some encouraging ratings news on all 3 shows this morning, with Happy Endings and freshman Revenge posting week-to-week gains and …
It turns out Modern Family was the Robin that signaled the comedy spring at the broadcast networks. Two years after the Emmy-winning ABC series became the first out-of-the-gate big comedy hit in years, the genre’s comeback is complete, while dramas appear headed for a down cycle. Here are the facts: