,” “Better Things
” — Nisha Ganatra
has directed some of TV’s most critically acclaimed comedies, and now she’s set to helm Margaret Cho
’s hourlong TNT pilot, “Highland
,” Deadline reports. Cho will write and executive produce the comedic drama alongside Liz Sarnoff
”) and the latter will serve as showrunner.
The project is inspired by Cho’s own history of drug use and follows two extended, dysfunctional Korean-American families “who share the same patriarch [and] must come together after tragedy strikes. As it turns out, the most reliable person in both families is the one who just got out of rehab,” the source summarizes.
Deadline points out that just one out of 41 of this year’s broadcast drama pilots was helmed by a woman, which marks an all-time low. “And for a second consecutive year, there were no women of color directing broadcast drama or comedy pilots.” As much as we’d like to think Hollywood is changing, the numbers often suggest otherwise.
Earlier this year Ganatra was elected into Women in Film
’s Board of Directors. She’s revealed that she never mentions the fact that she’s a mother. “I’m always afraid it’s going to be held against me in some way,” she explained. “And it is. Somebody told me that when you’re a woman and you say you have kids, they assume you want to be home with kids. But when you’re a man and you say you have kids, they say oh we have to get him a job because he has a family to support.”
“Looking back, I can see [directing] was always an interest, but my parents were first generation immigrants from India,” Ganatra has said. “My mom came from a pretty small village in the North. My Dad was from Mumbai, but somehow the major film industry presence there didn’t really enter his consciousness. So, film was not a career option. It didn’t even exist for them in the realm of possibility,” she observed. “Looking back, I think I was always trying to make a video for that history presentation, so I did have an interest, but it took me so long to discover that this was even an option.”
Ganatra has plenty of previous experience working with Cho. The pair collaborated on the comedian’s specials “Margaret Cho: Cho Revolution
,” “Margaret Cho: Beautiful
,” and “Margaret Cho
: Dependent.”Nisha Ganatra
to Direct Margaret Cho
’s TNT Pilot was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.