America in Primetime

Episode 1: Independent Woman

Independent Woman reveals how women have transformed from model housewives to complex, and sometimes controversial, characters.

"I’m so new to television but what I am learning is, how challenging playing a character on television is. With a film you have a script and you have it for three months, and you put all your effort into that character. But with television, you really have no idea where that character is going to go. When I was told the first season was nine months, I found that quite worrying. What am I going to do, how am I going to plant the seeds of what’s going to happen to her? It’s like, have you got a character breakdown, what’s going to happen in season, you know the next few episodes. No, it doesn’t work like that. You just have to allow your character to grow. I guess I just sat back and thought, well that’s how real life is isn’t it? People evolve and change and it depends on the situations and the people they interact with. And so I’ve kind of just let her do what she wants, and see what happens." - ARCHIE PANJABI, Kalinda Sharma on The Good Wife

The first America in Primetime episode, Independent Woman,
reveals how the idea of the ideal mother and motherhood has changed.

Independent Woman interviews include:

Desperate Housewives

Marc Cherry (Creator)
Felicity Huffman (Actor, “Lynette Scavo”)
Eva Longoria (Actor, “Gabrielle Solis”)

The Dick Van Dyke Show

Carl Reiner (Creator)
Mary Tyler Moore (Actor, “Laura Petrie”)

Dick Van Dyke (Actor, “Robert Petrie”)

The Good Wife

Michelle King (Creator)
Robert King (Creator)

Juliana Margulies (Actor, “Alicia Florrick”)

Grey’s Anatomy

Sandra Oh (Actor, “Cristina Yang”)
Shonda Rhimes (Creator)

The Mary Tyler Moore Show

James L. Brooks (Creator)
Mary Tyler Moore (Actor, “Mary Richards”) 

Murphy Brown

Candice Bergen (Actor, “Murphy Brown”)
Diane English (Creator)

Nurse Jackie

Liz Brixius (Creator)
Edie Falco (Actor, “Jackie Peyton”)

Linda Wallem (Creator)


Roseanne Barr (Actor, “Roseanne  Connor”)
Marcy Carsey (Executive Producer)

Laurie Metcalf (Actor, “Jackie Harris”)

Tom Werner (Executive Producer)

Sex and the City

Darren Star (Creator)


Jenji Kohan (Creator)
Mary Louise Parker (Actor,  “Nancy Botwin”)


America in Primetime Funders

America in Primetime is a production of WETA Washington, DC, and The Documentary Group, in association with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation. Funding is provided by Dove, a Unilever brand; the Annenberg Foundation; the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS.

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