Podcast of TV CONFIDENTIAL Show No. 538.3 with guest Jennifer Armstrong is available for listening on demand

When Women Invented Television
Original Airdates: May 14-16, 2021
TVC 538.3: Ed welcomes TV historian and New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Armstrong. Jennifer’s latest book, When Women Invented Television, traces the history of the first decade of network television through the lives and accomplishments of four women: Irna Phillips, the originator of many of the first radio and TV soap operas; Gertrude Berg, star and creator of The Goldbergs, and the first woman to write and produce her own prime time series (not to mention brand herself); jazz pianist Hazel Scott, the first African American to host her own national prime time variety series (five years before Nat King Cole); and Betty White, who, long before The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls, hosted one of the very first experimental television shows in Los Angeles before becoming one of the first stars, and first Emmy winners, of daytime television.

Why Betty White Was Made for Television
Original Airdates: May 14-16, 2021
TVC 538.4: New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Armstrong talks to Ed about the early television career of Betty White, including how, in many ways, White lived the life of Mary Richards long before The Mary Tyler Moore Show came into existence. Jennifer’s latest book, When Women Invented Television, traces the history of the first decade of network television through the lives and accomplishments of Irna Phillips, Gertrude Berg, Hazel Scott and Betty White—and shows how all four found themselves marginalized as television became more popular, and more lucrative, amidst the changing culture of the 1950s.

Why Hazel Scott Was the Beyoncé of Her Time
Original Airdates: May 14-16, 2021
TVC 538.5: Jennifer Armstrong, author of When Women Invented Television, talks to Ed about how the Blacklist spelled the end for both The Goldbergs and The Hazel Scott Show; how Scott’s carefully managed persona paved the way for such other sophisticated African-American women as Oprah Winfrey, Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, the Claire Huxtable character on The Cosby Show, and Diahann Carroll’s character on Julia; and the spiritual connection between Betty White and television. When Women Invented Television, shows how Scott, White, Irna Phillips, and Gertrude Berg all paved the way for many of the forms of TV programming that we take for granted today—and how all four found themselves marginalized as television became more popular, and more lucrative, amidst the changing culture of the 1950s. Jennifer Armstrong joins us in our second hour.

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