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Welcome to Advanced TV Herstory, the podcast that connects the dots of TV & feminism and American politics & culture. We tell the stories of women in TV who have had a profound impact on the confidence and aspirations of generations of girls and women.

We highlight the pioneering journalists, talented actresses, and gutsy writers who challenged societal norms and provide historical context for their achievements within the cultural and political trends of the time. By exploring the past, we ensure that the struggles, triumphs, and milestones of these women are not lost to history.

Hosted and produced by television scholar Cynthia Bemis Abrams, Advanced TV Herstory is more than just a podcast. It is a research-based examination of the evolution of television and women in our society. Each episode is an opportunity to inspire listeners to believe in themselves, challenge norms, break barriers, and shape the future of television and our world.

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Nov 17, 2023

Join host Cynthia Bemis Abrams as she launches a new limited series, TV Talk Shows, part of the Advanced TV Herstory podcast. 

In this first episode, Cynthia delves into a study that reveals women are more prominently featured in unscripted television shows than in scripted ones—another example of the industry’s inclination to front women in projects that are less expensive to produce. She also touches on the recent strikes by SAG-AFTRA and the WGA, emphasizing the importance of storytelling and representation in scripted television.

Cynthia then outlines the focus of the TV Talk Shows series, which will explore the historical context, memorable moments, and surprising controversies surrounding unscripted hosts and guests. The episode concludes by acknowledging the pioneering achievements of Della Reese as the first black woman to fill in for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show and Betty White's stance against the broadcast network executives who were reluctant to feature performers of color on her 1950s talk and variety show. 


Foundation Interviews - Della Reese on Guest Hosting “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” -

The Television Academy Foundation – Della Reese - 

“He Stays”: Betty White refused to remove Black dancer from her show in 1954 -

 Retro Televisions – The Betty White Show (11-29-54) -

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