Finally, a podcast about TV & women!
Enjoy an in-depth review of great moments in TV Herstory, careers that inspire, and behind-the-scenes looks at women who performed or somehow brought them to our TVs. Do you love talking TV? So do we!
Produced by Cynthia Bemis Abrams
Themes & Categories
Moments in tv herstory
TV news and moments have filled lives since sets became common to living rooms. Sure, TV enables us to learn about American history through video sources, but like so much of TV representation, that history has more to do with men's achievements than women's. Researched & applying context across social, political and economic themes of the day, episodes about Anita Hill, Billie Jean King's Battle of the Sexes, Murphy Brown's entry into single motherhood and many more.
All too often, well written TV shows hold subtle yet invaluable leadership themes that become water cooler talk for, well, people who like leadership. In The Closer Seasons 1 through 4, Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson's growth as a team leader and ethical agent is essential viewing for students of culture change. Listen to Lucille Ball's early opportunities for smart decision making that led her to build DesiLu Studios to legendary status.
Oh, and what's more fun that reliving the brief but witty Sports Night (1998-2000) and the mentoring relationships shared by Natalie, Dana and Isaac? Some might say reliving Diana Ross' 1983 televised concert in Central Park is comparable. Listen to both... today!
Careers & legacies
Through all media channels, we learn bits here and there about women who have led stellar, fascinating careers in the TV world - some behind the camera and some in front of it. Episodes also talk about those whose talents and drive have brought them to wearing the hats of director, producer, or writer. If you feel a bit peckish in your knowledge of Debbie Allen, Betty White, Daytime showrunner Agnes Nixon, Patty "Anna" Duke or Dinah Shore, you've come to the right place.
facets of cagney & lacey
Award-winning, fist-pumping feminism on prime time from 1981 to 1988, Cagney & Lacey's labored birth, resuscitation and rise to greatness is the stuff of legend. These stories are guided by the artful telling of producer Barney Rosenzweig in the audio version of his book Cagney & Lacey and Me. Clips, facts and context of feminism help build the case in each podcast episode that Cagney & Lacey changed the DNA for all subsequent series based on strong women characters. Who knew there were six "lost" episodes?
the shows you love
Some series are so great, so powerful in their content and relevance, that they're treasure chests for analysis and learning. Reach into an episode of Facts of Life and you're likely to find a universal growing pain that perplexes a 12 year old. Ditto with the short-lived My So-Called Life. From Bewitched and Room 222 to the mother/daughter relationship of Polly Bergen and Geena Davis in Commander in Chief, we believe that a great story arc, nugget of real life or masterfully written relationship is cause to study and celebrate!
4 strong female characters
Go ahead and name as many series as you can that featured 4 strong female characters.* TV fan scholars might list a dozen, if shows still in production are counted. There's a lot of theory and trial to creating a successful 4-strong female character TV show. This series goes in depth to the characters, plot and character development and how each show stretched mightily to bring something unique to TV.
At Advanced TV Herstory, all we do is talk about women and TV. We regularly hear from authors, media studies professors, TV fans and people who were just profoundly moved by a moment of TV history that happened to feature a woman or women.
We'd love to hear from you about your memories, favorite episodes or series, or your strong opinions about how women are represented in the TV industry.