The Sundance Institute and Women in Film Los Angeles (WIF) initiative ReFrame and IMDbPro announced that 47% of the 200 most popular scripted series of the 2021-2022 season earned the ReFrame Stamp for gender-balanced hiring, representing a 7% decrease from the previous year and a more than 100% increase since the ReFrame Stamp launched in 2018. ReFrame and IMDbPro have also announced that they have extended their collaboration and ReFrame will continue using IMDbPro data to determine gender-balanced hiring in film and TV through 2025.

The ReFrame TV Stamp is awarded to scripted television and episodic productions that hire women or individuals of other underrepresented gender identities/expressions (including those who are non-binary or gender non-conforming) in at least four out of eight key roles including writer, director, producer, lead, co-leads, and department heads. Additional points are awarded to productions that hire women of color in key positions, and to those with overall gender parity in their crews.

Key findings of the report, determined by ReFrame’s extensive analysis of data provided by IMDbPro, include:

  • The majority of showrunners are men, and the majority of women showrunners are white. Of the 200 shows analyzed, 59 had a woman showrunner (29.5%). Of those shows, only 7 had a woman of color showrunner (3.5%). (For shows released after June 1, 2022, ReFrame will now assign a higher point value to the identity of a project’s showrunner. Learn more about expanded criteria here.)
  • Men directed the majority of episodes; many women directed multiple episodes. Of the 2008 episodes analyzed, 723 (36%) were directed by 293 women. 194 episodes (9.7%) were directed by 88 women of color.
  • We are nearing gender parity for episodes written by women, but not for women of color writers. Of the 2008 episodes analyzed, 973 were written by women (48.5%). 325 episodes (16.2%) were written by women of color.
  • More women cinematographers are getting hired, but very few women of color. 44 of the 200 shows (22%) hired a woman cinematographer for at least one episode, which indicates an increase of over 100% from prior year. However, only 7 shows hired a cinematographer who was a woman of color (3.5%).
  • 62.5% of shows in the Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy Series category received the Stamp (Abbott Elementary, Hacks, Only Murders in the Building, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, What We Do In The Shadows), as did 60% of shows in the Outstanding Limited Series category (Inventing Anna, Pam and Tommy, The Dropout) and 37.5% of shows nominated in the Emmys category of Outstanding Drama Series (Euphoria, Severance, Yellowjackets).

For the first time, ReFrame is issuing a company report card, indicating where studios, streamers and networks have met the ReFrame Stamp standard. Apple had the highest percentage of its content earn the Stamp – 75% of its eligible series met gender-balanced hiring criteria – and the majority of the major studios saw at least 40% of their content earn the Stamp. ReFrame’s initiatives aim to provide companies with a practical framework for building a more inclusive industry.

“The Stamp is a mechanism to show us where the work of building a more inclusive industry is being done, and to celebrate the executives, producers, showrunners, creatives and department heads who are making that happen by building gender-balanced teams,” said Andria Wilson Mirza, ReFrame’s Director. “It also serves as a method for accountability. With this report, we’re sharing the studios’ current standing, and we invite them to set a goal of increasing the Stamps they earn year-over-year.”

To determine the 2022 TV Stamp recipients, ReFrame examined IMDbPro data on the 200 most popular narrative television and streaming shows with a minimum of three episodes released during the Emmys eligibility period of June 1, 2021 – May 31, 2022. 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 hundreds of millions of searchable data items.

ReFrame encourages all scripted productions to implement equitable hiring practices and apply to earn the ReFrame Stamp year-round. Through the open application process, numerous television and streaming productions outside of the Top 200 earned the Stamp in 2021-2022, including the Amazon Original With Love, from ReFrame Ambassador Gloria Calderón Kellett, ABC’s Emmy-nominated Abbott Elementary, and season 4 of ABC’s Station 19. The list of all 2021-2022 Stamped shows is available below, on ReFrame’s website, and at IMDb.com/ReFrame.