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Why did images of white, nuclear families dominate television in the 1950s? Why has it taken nearly 70 years for images of a diverse America—featuring people of color, immigrants, women as independent social beings—to appear on prime time television?  Challenging the longstanding belief that what appeared on television screens in the 1950s and after resulted from some social consensus, The Broadcast 41 addresses these and other questions by telling two intersecting stories. The first story documents the heterogeneous perspectives of a generation of progressive women who had been…

Marsha Hunt, the longest-lived of the 41 women listed in Red Channels in 1950, died last week. 

Along with Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Danny Kaye, John Huston, and Katherine Hepburn, Hunt joined the Committee for the First Amendment, a group the grew out of attacks on the Hollywood writers, producers, and directors who became known as the Hollywood Ten and challenged the House Un-American Activities Committee's attacks on progressives in the film industry.

Unlike the Hollywood liberals that sister…

Great review in Jump Cut about Being the Ricardos, the recent biopic about Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Of interest to those interested in gender and TV history is its treatment of Judy Holliday, apparently the object of Ball's criticism. Evidence that Hollywood still loves a catfight between powerful women, rather than telling the more complicated and interesting story of two women who had obvious political and artistic differences.