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Bookworm: For a classic TV watcher, ‘When Women Invented Television’ is gold

“When Women Invented Television: The Untold Story of the Female Powerhouses Who Pioneered the Way We Watch Today”

  • By Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
  • c.2021, Harper
  • $27.99, $34.99 Canada; 334 pages

Turn it up. This is the best part of the whole series; it’s a great bit, the funniest one. You’ve seen every episode of this favorite show multiple times and you know the must-watch scenes, every line, every outfit change, new set and new character. And in “When Women Invented Television” by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, you’ve still got a lot to learn.

“When Women Invented Television: The Untold Story of the Female Powerhouses Who Pioneered the Way We Watch Today” by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong.

Gertrude Berg clearly understood how much power she wielded – still, in the fall of 1948, when she walked into the Madison Avenue office of the man in charge of CBS, she knew she was taking a chance.

For years, she’d been the writer, casting director, star, and force behind the network’s most popular radio show, “The Goldbergs.” Berg wanted to take that popularity to the new medium of television, and she told William S. Paley so. He agreed, and by the end of 1949, “The Goldbergs” was a hit with a solid sponsor and Gertrude Berg was a television star.

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