the rise of the female showrunner— and a new golden era of TELEVISION
"Here is a collection of women who have managed to make television on their own terms, embodying proof that it can be done." -- New York Times
"Please read this book immediately. It is sharp, funny, and gorgeously researched, a satisfying blend of inside dirt and critical illumination. It also places female creativity on television exactly where it belongs: dead center in the cultural conversation." -- Emily Nussbaum, television critic at The New Yorker
"A roaring tour of women's professional, artistic and political impact on television and on popular culture. By turns invigorating and sobering, STEALING THE SHOW maps the progress of the expanded voice, vision and reach of women on television and behind its scenes." -- Rebecca Traister, bestselling author of All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of An Independent Nation
"An urgent and entertaining history of the transformative powers of women in TV." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"[Joy] Press charts how a group of enterprising women and gender-nonconforming individuals have not only changed whose creative visions we are able to engage with, but what kinds of characters we can see on television and whose stories get to be told -- Los Angeles Times
Paperback out now on Atria Books in the US and Faber & Faber in the UK.
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 as if equal opportunities abound.
But things weren't always this rosy. It took decades of determination in the face of preconceived ideas and outright exclusion to reach the current moment. In this richly researched and wildly entertaining book, veteran journalist Joy Press tells the story of some 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.
Barr and English inspired the next generation of female TV writers and producers to carve out the creative space and executive power needed to present radically new visions of women on the small screen. Showrunners like Amy Sherman-Palladino (Gilmore Girls), Jenji Kohan (Weeds, Orange Is the New Black), and Jill Soloway (Transparent) have created characters and storylines that have changed how women are seen and how they see themselves, in the process remaking the culture at large.
Drawing on a wealth of original interviews, this is the exhilarating behind-the-scenes story of a true revolution in television.