Stories of leadership, persistence & achievement of TV women


Click. Read. Simple.

Scripts from Advanced TV Herstory episodes are from production dates June 2015 to present. Audio clips from external sources are noted in italics.

What Would Murphy Brown Do? 2nd edition

It was my pleasure to spend the better part of a November afternoon with author Allison Klein. Klein’s landmark book What Would Murphy Brown Do? was published by Seal Press in 2005. She’s a former writer and associate producer for MTV where she covered political news – back when MTV had news and she worked on a number of documentaries for the network. When Advanced TV Herstory caught up with her, we discussed her current projects and interests.

Beg to MTM Meet/ 2 Book Update

One of the most important advancements made in the last decade by women in TV, which Klein intends to explore deeply in this next edition, is the woman showrunner and how such women differ from their male counterparts. Of course we started talking about Shonda Rhimes.


Like so many other American women in November, we left no stone unturned. Media has a special role to play in representing women in all sort of roles and professions – skilled and unskilled. Advanced TV Herstory prides itself on raising awareness on the notion that girls learn about career fields and get excited about math, science, political science, athletics or problem solving - by seeing women and girls of all ages doing that same thing on TV.


Another major change in behavior that Klein wants to cover in this next edition is the ways in which we access our shows, and what that means for those who want to produce one. Times have changed and the community of gatekeepers and decision makers is no longer a small group of executives at the legacy broadcast networks. Now all it takes is a great script, friends who can act and technical acumen to upload your pilot to YouTube.


So of course as this portion of our conversation drew to a close, Allison and I had developed a series of solutions to all sorts of problems, including the development of a TV show that would chronicle the work of women in TV, provide highlights on key dates and explore in depth all the great women – past and present – who are part of TV. Hmmm, sound a bit familiar?

Chatty Closing

Thanks for listening to this installment of Advanced TV Herstory. If you enjoyed this portion of my interview with author Allison Klein, I can only say stay tuned. Later in that conversation we explored the role reality shows play on the television landscape.

As always, please rate us at iTunes or our hosting site Libsyn, where I also encourage you to leave a comment. Our email inbox was recently filled with a great story by an attendee of the 1983 Diana Ross Concert in Central Park. Regular listeners will remember this installment which was uploaded a year ago and remains popular today.

Here’s a bit of what Listener Chris shared:

You captured pretty much all the important elements of why this was such an important and iconic event.” He then went on to share details of his personal experience, waiting around for the concert to begin and making his way out of the park, drenched to the bone.
It was a short concert for such a long wait, but it was worth every minute.  Again in hindsight, had Diana simply left the stage after 15 minutes or so at the first sign of rain, and the stage lights were turned out, I think the crowd would have reacted very badly and a lot of people would have been hurt.  She was magnificent and really made us feel that she cared about her fans.  I can't think of another performer who would taken charge and persevered that way, against the wishes of the Showtime and park execs who were in charge.  An unforgettable moment for sure.  Thanks for paying tribute in your podcast.

Thank YOU Chris for sharing your memory and taking the time to write. He found us at You can also follow us on Twitter – our handle is TVHerstory. A special thank you to Allison Klein for chatting about TV – we had never met in person before the interview, but WOW, we had so much in common. And, as always, this podcast sounds better every time you listen due to the talented David Brown at the controls.

Thanks for listening, I’m your host, Cynthia Bemis Abrams.