PERFORMING ARTS

Stealing the Show: How Women Are Revolutionizing Television

Atria. Mar. 2018. 272p. ISBN 9781501137716. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501137730. TV
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OrangeReviewStarTV journalist and critic Press discusses the gradual emergence of the female showrunner on television series. The showrunner is the new name for the main decision maker, a position that used to be called executive producer. Press begins by discussing female-driven shows such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show and That Girl and how at the time, most of the writers and producers were men. Since then, more female-driven and female-focused TV shows have emerged, including Roseanne, Orange Is the New Black, 30 Rock, and The Mindy Project. The book is well-organized chronologically and is an absorbing read with some politics thrown in. There are fascinating interviews with female showrunners such as Roseanne Barr, Amy Sherman-Palladino (Gilmore Girls), Jenji Kohan (Weeds/Orange Is the New Black), and Shonda Rhimes (Scandal). This emergence of female showrunners is allowing stories about women on screen, and one hopes it will allow more diversity behind the camera as well.
VERDICT Highly recommended for those who enjoy reading about the entertainment industry, how their favorite TV shows are created, and women. [See Prepub Alert, 10/4/17.]

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