EVP, Original Programming, TNT, Turner Broadcasting
Since joining TNT in 2015, Aubrey has been hard at work developing premium drama series that are bolder and more daring, and that appeal to a younger audience— including this year’s “Animal Kingdom.” Her 2017 slate includes “The Alienist,” based on Caleb Carr’s NY Times bestseller about a serial killer. “I still see work to do on two levels in particular,” she says on cable industry gender equality. “The very top ranks of media companies are still almost exclusively male, and I would love for there to be a push deeper into the ranks of crews to see more equality below the line on sets.”
Which sector of the cable industry best demonstrates gender equality? Which could use some enlightenment?
I don’t think we have achieved equality anywhere yet but I am happy to report progress in my neck of the woods. I was just at a kickoff dinner for our new pilot “Claws” starring Niecy Nash about a group of wild women working in a south Florida nail salon. As I looked around the table I saw a female star, three female costars, a female director, a female director of photography, a female producer, and a female showrunner. Pretty great! That said, I still see work to do on two levels in particular – the very top ranks of media companies are still almost exclusively male and I would love for there to be a push deeper into the ranks of crews to see more equality below the line on sets.
What advice would you give your 13-year-old self?
Oh gosh, I was so neurotic when I was 13 – probably I would tell myself to relax and have fun. I was Tracy Fleck-level ambitious at that age and frankly it took me another 20 years to realize you never are going to feel happy and satisfied by any particular professional achievement for long. The fact that we get to work in a creative business and tell stories for a living is extraordinary so enjoy the daily journey. And, also, definitely don’t get a perm just because Harper Montgomery got one!
Which current programming best reflects the kind of women’s roles you like to see and why?
Well, I have to give a shout out to our new TNT shows starring Ellen Barkin in “Animal Kingdom” and Michelle Dockery in “Good Behavior.” They both play unapologetic, intelligent, sexy, intense women. In the old days we would have been asked “Are they likable enough?” Today, the answer is they aren’t. And they are. Which makes them human. Which makes them irresistible to watch. I also have really loved three British shows with powerhouse female performances – I just finally saw “Happy Valley” and “The Fall” and am obsessed with Sarah Lancashire’s and Gillian Anderson’s deliciously rich complicated portraits of police officers. And then Phoebe Waller-Bridge in “Fleabag.” Just watch it. You are welcome.