Paris Barclay


Paris Barclay is one of television’s most successful and honored directors. Throughout his career in television, Paris has directed nearly 200 episodes of television, including episodes of NYPD BLUE, ER, THE WEST WING, LOST, THE GOOD WIFE, CSI, SONS OF ANARCHY, HOUSE, GLEE, IN TREATMENT, SCANDAL, EMPIRE, and PITCH. He won two Emmy Awards for his direction of NYPD BLUE and has received six additional Emmy nominations for producing and directing, including three for directing episodes of GLEE, and one for THE WEST WING

Paris has also garnered ten Directors Guild nominations (for shows as diverse as IN TREATMENT, WEEDS, HOUSE, as well as GLEE and THE WEST WING), winning once for NYPD BLUE. He also became the first Director in the history of the Guild to receive a comedy and drama nomination in the same year, two years in a row (2008 & 2009). He’s received three NAACP Image Awards, for producing, co-creating, and directing CITY OF ANGELS, and for directing COLD CASE and SMASH. In 2014, the NAACP inducted Paris into the NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame.

Paris also began serving as a producer/director on many of the above shows, beginning with NYPD BLUE and continuing with COLD CASE, IN TREATMENT, SONS OF ANARCHY, PITCH, STATION 19, and many others.

He directed the feature film (and cult favorite) DON’T BE A MENACE TO SOUTH CENTRAL WHILE DRINKING YOUR JUICE IN THE HOOD, as well as telefilms for HBO, THE CHEROKEE KID (starring Sinbad, James Coburn and Burt Reynolds) and THE BIG TIME for TNT (a drama with Christina Hendricks, Molly Ringwald, and Christopher Lloyd). 

Further bulging his shelves, Paris has been recognized as a writer as well, receiving a WGA and Humanitas Prize nomination for his telefilm (with Dustin Lance Black) PEDRO, for MTV. He’s shared two Humanitas Prizes and four prestigious Peabody Awards. He co-created the series CITY OF ANGELS (which ran for 2 years on CBS), co-wrote and directed the pilot, HATE,for Showtime, and has rewritten projects for Disney and HBO.

Paris was elected President of the Director’s Guild of America in June 2013. He is the first African-American and openly gay President in the history of the Guild. Before being elected President, Paris served four terms as the First Vice President of the DGA. Mr. Barclay first joined the DGA in 1992, and was elected to the Western Directors Council and the National Board in 1997. He and Taylor Hackford shared the 2007 Robert Aldrich Award, given for extraordinary service to the Director’s Guild of America. Paris was enthusiastically re-elected in June 2015 to serve a second term as president before stepping down in June 2017.

In 2021, the Guild presented Paris with its Honorary Life Member Award, one of the DGA’s highest honors, for his service to the Guild and career achievement. He was also elected in 2021 to serve as the Guild's Secretary-Treasurer, a position he still holds.

Paris served as the executive producer and director for the Shondaland show, STATION 19, the GREY'S ANATOMY spinoff that follows a group of Seattle firefighters and stars Jaina Lee Ortiz, Jason George, and Grey Damon. He directed the pilot of the show, now heading into its sixth season.

He is currently editing a documentary feature on the incomparable Billy Preston, as well as directing episodes of Ryan Murphy’s Netflix shows MONSTER: THE JEFFREY DAHMER STORY, THE WATCHER, and AMERICAN HORROR STORY.

Paris got his start in advertising, working as a creative executive and then segued into directing music videos for some of music’s biggest stars, such as: Janet Jackson, Bob Dylan, and LL Cool J. 

In addition to his service to the DGA, Paris has been recognized for his service and contributions to many charitable organizations, including Liberty Hill, GLAAD, and Project Angel Food. He has said: “What’s the point of any success if you don’t give back?”

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DGA Quarterly
DGA Quarterly Magazine Summer 2019 Producer Director Pars Barclay directing Station 19
Producer/directors seek a unifying vision without sacrificing artistic integrity.
DGA Quarterly Magazine Fall 2018 DGA Mentorship Program Paris Barclay
DGA First-Time Episodic Director Orientation Program
For students and teachers in the DGA's First-Time Episodic Director Orientation Program, no detail is too small.
DGAQ Magazine Summer 2017 11 Questions Paris Barclay
Director Paris Barclay talks about the industry, his leadership role and how the Guild has progressed during his presidency.
Directing In Treatment
Capturing the intense emotion but limited movement of therapy sessions in HBO's In Treatment presents a challenge to the show's directors. Here's how they solve it.