Female writers, directors, and producers have radically transformed the television industry in recent years. Shonda Rhimes, Lena Dunham, Tina Fey, Amy Schumer, Mindy Kaling: These extraordinary women have shaken up the entertainment landscape, making it look like an equal opportunity dream factory.
But things weren't always this rosy. It took decades of determination in the face of preconceived ideas and outright prejudice to reach this new era. In this endlessly informative and wildly entertaining book, veteran journalist Joy Press tells the story of the maverick women who broke through the barricades, starting with Roseanne Barr (Roseanne) and Diane English (Murphy Brown), whose iconic shows redefined America’s idea of “family values” and incited controversy that reached as far as the White House.
Joy Press has been writing about TV for more than fifteen years. In the 2000s, she was the chief television critic at The Village Voice. She later served as entertainment editor of Salon and then as an editor at the Los Angeles Times, where in addition to commissioning television coverage, she wrote and reported features on the medium. She has contributed to publications such as The New York Times, Slate, Vogue, Salon, and The Guardian. She lives in Los Angeles.
Emily Nussbaum is the television critic for The New Yorker, and in 2016 won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism.