The Virginian, Plus Early Female TV Characters: Next on TVC

Authors Paul Green and Cary O’Dell  will join us on the next edition of TV CONFIDENTIAl, Friday at 7pm ET and PT on Share-a-Vision Radio.

Paul Green will join us in our second hour as we remember The Virginian, the long-running Western series starring James Drury, Doug McClure and Lee J. Cobb, and a show that still has a very strong following today, particularly among female viewers. The third-longest running Western on television (nine seasons, second only to Gunsmoke and Bonanza), The Virginian was also the first 90-minute Western series produced for network television. Paul’s book A History of Television’s The Virginian: 1962-1971 not only features interviews with many of the actors and behind-the-scenes personnel of The Virginian, but shows how the series helped paved the way for the made-for-TV movie, while also playing an important role in the career of Roy Huggins.

Cary O’Dell will join us in our first hour as we look at how women were portrayed on television during the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. It is generally assumed by many scholars and historians that female characters during the early years of television were subservient women who were rarely seen as anything other than housewives or moms. If you actually watched the majority of shows from that era, however, you would not only find that assumption to be wrong, but realize that most women on television back then were as every bit as empowered and capable as the women we see today. Cary’s book June Cleaver Was a Feminist!: Reconsidering the Female Characters from Early Television not only debunks those myths, but explores the many reasons why they continue to perpetuate.

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