U.K. Network ITV Bans All-Male Comedy Writing Teams
The 'Love Island' broadcaster has changed its commissioning terms with indie producers to get more women in writers rooms.
British TV network ITV is no longer ordering homegrown comedies from all-male writing teams, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
The move, announced Monday by ITV controller of comedy Saskia Schuster, aims to get more female comedy writers in writers rooms for sitcoms and other comedy fare.
"I won't commission anything with an all-male writing team," Schuster told Channel 4's DIVERSE Festival in Bradford, England, according to a report from BBC News.
ITV, which broadcasts the hit reality series Love Island, is also known for such comedies as Bad Move, Timewasters, Celebrity Juice and Harry Hill's Alien Fun Capsule.
Schuster recently launched a Comedy 50:50 initiative to help female comedy writers reach hard-to-access indie producers with whom ITV and other U.K. broadcasters work. "An awful lot of my comedy entertainment shows are made up of all male writing teams. In scripted commissions there has been a significant lack of shows written by women or with women on the writing teams," she stated on the Comedy 50:50 website.
The exec, appearing recently at the Banff World Media Festival, said she has backing from ITV to encourage more female comedy writers to get ahead in the entertainment industry.
"The biggest change is I've changed my terms of commission. There is an element for change of having to force it. And my network is coming on board with this," Schuster added about her conversations with U.K. production companies that might make comedy shows for ITV.