We’ll play Part 2 of our conversation with television writer Susan Silver (Hot Pants in Hollywood, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Girl Who Came Gift-Wrapped), plus we’ll welcome Emmy Award-nominated stunt woman and actress Janeshia Adams-Ginyard, activist Steve Pieters, and game show historian Steve Beverly. All this weekend on TV CONFIDENTIAL, airing Sept. 10-12 at the following times and venues:
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This week’s show will include Part 2 of a conversation that began on our last program with Susan Silver, one of the original writers for The Mary Tyler Moore Show and one of the very first female writers to break the glass ceiling in the world of TV comedy. Susan’s other television credits include such top-rated Movies of the Week as The Girl Who Came Gift-Wrapped, the romantic comedy starring Karen Valentine, Richard Long, and Louise Sorel that, while very much a product of the early 1970s, still holds up today because of the strong characters that Susan created. Indeed, in many respects, Susan based Valentine’s character in Gift-Wrapped (a young woman from the Midwest with strong values) on her own experiences when she first came to L.A. in the mid 1960s. We’ll talk about, and more, when Susan Silver joins us in our first hour.
Susan’s memoir, Hot Pants in Hollywood: Sex, Secrets and Sitcoms, is available as a print edition through Amazon.com and as an audiobook through Audible.com. Susan’s radio commentary, Susan Says with Susan Silver, is heard on RobinHoodRadio.com and on Apple Podcasts.
Also joining us this week will be another television pioneer: actress and stunt woman Janeshia Adams-Ginyard. If you know your movies from the Marvel Comics Universe, you know Janeshia as Nomble, one of the Dora Milaje, in Black Panther. You’ve also seen her in the Disney+ series The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, as well as such other movies and TV shows as True Blood, The Mindy Project, American Horror Story, 9-1-1, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and Lovecraft Country.
Janeshia was recently nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Stunt Performance for her work in Lovecraft Country. This is the first year that the Television Academy has created the category of Outstanding Stunt Performance—and while other stunt women have received nominations as part of a team, Janeshia is the only stunt woman to receive an Emmy nod as an individual. Not only that, because there aren’t a lot of stunt women in film and TV today (compared to the number of stunt men), and even fewer African-American stunt women, that makes Janeshia’s nomination a watershed moment in two significant ways. Janeshia Adams-Ginyard will join us in our second hour.
The Emmy Awards airs Sunday, Sept. 19 on CBS.
Our second hour will also include a conversation with the Reverend Steve Pieters. If you don’t know Steve’s story, it’s pretty remarkable. Forty years ago, Steve was diagnosed with two kinds of cancer and full blown AIDS and was given eight months to live. While his cancers went into remission in 1985, Steve nearly died again that year while being treated with suramin, the first antiviral drug trial. With no treatments available when he was initially diagnosed, Steve devised his own plan to beat AIDS by combining prayer, meditation, exercise, nutrition, laughter (including healthy dosages of I Love Lucy reruns), music, and a little bit of fairy dust. He has remained cancer free ever since.
In the world of popular culture, Steve Pieters is best known for a television interview that he gave evangelist Tammy Faye Bakker in 1985, while he was recovering from the effects of suramin, that not only discussed and dispelled many of the myths surrounding HIV/AIDS, but marked the first time that a televangelist gave an affirming interview with a gay man living with AIDS. That twenty-five-minute conversation forever changed Steve’s life and Bakker’s as well.
Steve’s interview with Tammy Faye Bakker is part of the backdrop of The Eyes of Tammy Faye, a new movie starring Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield that will be released on Friday, Sept. 24.
Also this week: Game show historian Steve Beverly will join us for an update on the search for a new permanent host of Jeopardy!
When Steve visited our program in early August, Sony Pictures Television had just named Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards as the official successor to Alex Trebek—a controversial choice that called into question the integrity of having a long series of guest hosts, many of whom were supposedly in the running for the permanent host position. Since Steve’s last visit, an investigative report from TheRinger.com revealed that Richards had made a series of demeaning remarks on the air about women and people of other races and ethnicities during a podcast that Richards had hosted between 2013-2014. That caused Sony to remove Richards as host of Jeopardy, although he stayed on as executive producer. Last week, however, Sony announced that it had fired Richards altogether and that he would no longer oversee Jeopardy! or Wheel of Fortune. Steve will help us sort through these developments, as well as discuss what Sony must do to right the ship and restore the public’s confidence in the Jeopardy! franchise. Steve Beverly joins us in our first hour.
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