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America in Primetime

Independent Woman (Season 1, Episode 1)
TV-PG
TV Episode | 54 min | Documentary

In the early days of television, American prime time provided an idealized and stereotypical view of the American woman, who was more often than not portrayed as being subservient to the man, basically as housewife and mother in service to...See moreIn the early days of television, American prime time provided an idealized and stereotypical view of the American woman, who was more often than not portrayed as being subservient to the man, basically as housewife and mother in service to the family. In real life, most American women could could not measure up to this idealized view. From 1950 to 1970, three lead characters are seen as groundbreaking away from this stereotype (despite two being wife and mother): Lucy Ricardo in I Love Lucy, Laura Petrie in The Dick Van Dyke Show and Mary Richards in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, who were each independent for different reasons, much of those reasons specific to the era. Other characterizations of independent women that followed owed much to these three, and were reflective of the times. They include Roseanne Connor in Roseanne, and the title character in Murphy Brown. The lack of advertising on cable opened up the role of the independent woman even more, with Sex and the City being one of the earliest successes. Current examples of American prime time shows that feature independent women include Desperate Housewives, Weeds, Grey's Anatomy, Nurse Jackie and The Good Wife. Similarities between the women portrayed in these shows are that they are far from perfect but they are true to most parts of their selves. Written by Huggo See less
Read more: Plot summary
Cinematographer
Editors
Scott Chestnut (edited by) | Jon Vesey (edited by)
Status
Edit Released
Updated Oct 30, 2011

Release date
Oct 30, 2011 (United States)

Contacts

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Cast

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41 cast members
Name STARmeter Known for
Julianna Margulies
Herself / Alicia Florrick, The Good Wife Herself / Alicia Florrick, The Good Wife   See fewer
Top 5000
Robert King
Himself - Co-Creator, The Good Wife Himself - Co-Creator, The Good Wife   See fewer
Members only
Michelle King
Herself - Co-Creator, The Good Wife Herself - Co-Creator, The Good Wife   See fewer
Members only
Archie Panjabi
Herself / Kalinda Sharma, The Good Wife Herself / Kalinda Sharma, The Good Wife   See fewer
Top 5000
Roseanne Barr
Herself - Executive Producer, Roseanne (as Roseanne) Herself - Executive Producer, Roseanne (as Roseanne)   See fewer
Members only
Diane English
Herself - Creator, Murphy Brown Herself - Creator, Murphy Brown   See fewer
Members only
Liz Brixius
Herself - Co-Creator, Nurse Jackie Herself - Co-Creator, Nurse Jackie   See fewer
Members only
Jenji Kohan
Herself - Creator, Weeds Herself - Creator, Weeds   See fewer
Members only
Patricia Heaton
Herself / Debra Barone, Everybody Loves Raymond Herself / Debra Barone, Everybody Loves Raymond   See fewer
Top 5000
Steven Levitan
Himself - Co-Creator, Modern Family Himself - Co-Creator, Modern Family   See fewer
Members only
Will Scheffer
Himself - Co-Creator, Big Love Himself - Co-Creator, Big Love   See fewer
Members only
Linda Wallem
Herself - Co-Creator, Nurse Jackie Herself - Co-Creator, Nurse Jackie   See fewer
Members only
Danny DeVito
Himself / Louie DePalma, Taxi Himself / Louie DePalma, Taxi   See fewer
Top 5000
Ron Howard
Himself / Opie, The Andy Griffith Show Himself / Opie, The Andy Griffith Show   See fewer
Top 5000
Dick Van Dyke
Himself / Rob Petrie, The Dick Van Dyke Show Himself / Rob Petrie, The Dick Van Dyke Show   See fewer
Top 5000
Carl Reiner
Himself - Creator, The Dick Van Dyke Show Himself - Creator, The Dick Van Dyke Show   See fewer
Members only
Mary Tyler Moore
Herself / Laura Petrie, The Dick Van Dyke Show Herself / Laura Petrie, The Dick Van Dyke Show   See fewer
Top 5000
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Herself / Elaine Benes, Seinfeld Herself / Elaine Benes, Seinfeld   See fewer
Top 5000
James L. Brooks
Himself - Co-Creator, The Mary Tyler Moore Show Himself - Co-Creator, The Mary Tyler Moore Show   See fewer
Members only
Shonda Rhimes
Herself - Creator, Grey's Anatomy Herself - Creator, Grey's Anatomy   See fewer
Members only
Candice Bergen
Herself / Murphy Brown Herself / Murphy Brown   See fewer
Top 5000
Marcy Carsey
Herself - Executive Producer, Roseanne Herself - Executive Producer, Roseanne   See fewer
Members only
Diablo Cody
Herself - Creator, United States of Tara Herself - Creator, United States of Tara   See fewer
Members only
Tom Werner
Himself - Executive Producer, Roseanne Himself - Executive Producer, Roseanne   See fewer
Members only
Laurie Metcalf
Herself / Jackie Harris, Roseanne Herself / Jackie Harris, Roseanne   See fewer
Top 5000
Judd Apatow
Himself - Executive Producer, Freaks and Geeks Himself - Executive Producer, Freaks and Geeks   See fewer
Top 5000
Kevin Reilly
Himself - President, Fox Entertainment Himself - President, Fox Entertainment   See fewer
Members only
David Chase
Himself - Creator, The Sopranos Himself - Creator, The Sopranos   See fewer
Members only
Mike Royce
Himself - Co-Creator, Men of a Certain Age Himself - Co-Creator, Men of a Certain Age   See fewer
Members only
Stephen McPherson
Himself - Former President, ABC Entertainment Himself - Former President, ABC Entertainment   See fewer
Members only
Sue Naegle
Herself - President, HBO Entertainment Herself - President, HBO Entertainment   See fewer
Members only
Darren Star
Himself - Creator, Sex and the City Himself - Creator, Sex and the City   See fewer
Members only
Sarah Jessica Parker
Herself / Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City Herself / Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City   See fewer
Top 5000
Elisabeth Moss
Herself / Peggy Olson, Mad Men Herself / Peggy Olson, Mad Men   See fewer
Top 500
Marc Cherry
Himself - Creator, Desperate Housewives Himself - Creator, Desperate Housewives   See fewer
Members only
Eva Longoria
Herself / Gabrielle Solis, Desperate Housewives Herself / Gabrielle Solis, Desperate Housewives   See fewer
Top 5000
Felicity Huffman
Herself / Lynette Scavo, Desperate Housewives Herself / Lynette Scavo, Desperate Housewives   See fewer
Top 500
Sandra Oh
Herself / Dr. Cristina Yang Herself / Dr. Cristina Yang   See fewer
Top 5000
Mary-Louise Parker
Herself / Nancy Botwin, Weeds Herself / Nancy Botwin, Weeds   See fewer
Top 5000
Edie Falco
Herself / Jackie Peyton, Nurse Jackie Herself / Jackie Peyton, Nurse Jackie   See fewer
Top 5000
Alan Yentob
Himself - Presenter (UK version) Himself - Presenter (UK version)   See fewer
Members only
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Ratings Breakdown

7.4 / 10 | 41 votes