In Depth

Women in Television: Katie Jacobs

Who: Katie Jacobs, executive producer and co-showrunner, “House”

Women in TV

Why: It might not get the media love generated by “American Idol,” but in many ways “House” has been nearly as important as the reality hit to Fox’s success this year. After the writers strike ended, Ms. Jacobs helped push “House” back on the air as soon as possible, giving the network a much-needed scripted tentpole. This fall, the show has been vital to the launch plans for Fox’s newest drama, “Fringe.” And earlier this month, Fox said it would rely on “House” to turn around the network’s fading fortunes on Monday night (the show currently airs on Tuesdays).

While David Shore is in charge of the writing on “House,” Ms. Jacobs handles everything else—from casting to finding directors. “The show is incredibly well-served if I take care of everything and leave David Shore alone to his writing,” Ms. Jacobs said. “He needs the time and space to focus on what makes the show sing.”

What: Ms. Jacobs has been expanding her contributions to “House” to include directing episodes and is quietly working on a couple of feature films and at least one new TV project. “As a producer, your head is all over the place, but I love directing because it lets me be a little myopic and just focus on one part of the show,” she said.