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Book Review: Women in Television

Posted on Nov 4, 2017 |

Stealing the Show: How Women are Revolutionizing Television in America by Joy Press

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Nonfiction > Feminism > Women in Media > Women in Television

If you’re a fan of Orange is the New Black or Scandal or Grey’s Anatomy or Broad City or Transparent or 30 Rock (among others discussed in these pages), this nonfiction book about the struggles and strides of the women behind the camera should be interesting to you.

With the exception of Murphy Brown that came out in 1987, it was rare to have women head writers or showrunners (if you saw 30 Rock, Tina Fey’s character played a showrunner—basically in charge the writers and making sure everything came together). The major broadcast networks ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox have not made great strides in this area. (CW is an exception). Variety found that of the new scripted shows being made for the 2017/2018 season, just 29 percent of the broadcast showrunners were female and thirty-five percent of the actors were.

Thanks to streaming channels and cable, there are many more opportunities for women to get experience—and hire other women so they, too, can get experience. Directing TV is a Catch-22—you won’t get hired if you don’t have experience, but you can’t get experience because no one will hire you.

I like history and examining the role women have played in it, including the history of the entertainment industry. I found this to be readable, fun look at women in TV.

RELEASES 3/6/18. Thanks so much to NetGalley and Atria Books for the opportunity to review this book.

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