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TNT and TBS: The Official Networks of Strong Women?

I got a promotional e-mail today touting the Summer programming lineups on TNT and TBS. As I scrolled through looking for a return date for The Closer (July) and a start date for Raising the Bar (September), a banner at the bottom caught my eye:

"Kyra Sedgwick, Holly Hunter, Laura San Giacomo, Jordana Spiro, Nancy Travis, Jane Kaczmarek, and Gloria Reuben are just a few of the strong women coming to TNT and TBS this summer."

And they have good reason to spotlight that: Of the five series featured in the e-mail, only one (The Bill Engvall Show on TBS) has a male character in the lead. The rest are either female-led or have women in the majority of the starring roles: My Boys on TBS and all three of TNT's dramas, The Closer, Saving Grace, and the new series Raising the Bar. And, what's more, three of those four series have leading ladies over the age of 40 — a relative rarity in Hollywood.

I'm not sure if TNT and TBS set out to become networks full of programming featuring women who are tough, quirky, and relatable (and succeeding in roles typically earmarked for men, at that), but regardless, I find it encouraging that it's happened. They aren't the only networks in this game; FX's Damages drew a ton of acclaim with Glenn Close in its leading role. I just like the fact that these networks see their roster of shows with older, female stars not as a risk but as something to be celebrated. What's your take?

Join The Conversation
sfbutterfly24 sfbutterfly24 9 years
I love my boys and have been waiting forever for new episodes. I think its one of the best shows on tv right now because it is the most real show on. Oh I so cant wait till june!!!
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i think that it has to do with understanding who the viewers are - for the network as a whole and catering to them. they do a lot of research to see who's being reached, and it woudln't make sense necessarily to have programming that doesn't appeal to their audience. it's interesting though, since TBS has always been one of those networks that was more comedy than woman focused.
smileyface smileyface 9 years
I absolutely LOVE The Closer. Kyra Sedgwick is amazing in it. I was watching My Boys when it first came out and even though it was really good I couldn't keep up with it. But I think its great that these women are in these awesome role. I hope it continues!
jadenirvana jadenirvana 9 years
Brilliant observation Buzz, and good points everyone.
megnmac megnmac 9 years
I love that these women are starring in shows on tv. I love that the shows are doing WELL. I love that these are OLDER women - no 25 yr olds are allowed to be this complex and real on tv. Many actresses have discussed how hard it is to find roles, at any age, that are REAL and challenging. Roles that aren't defined by a relationship (girlfriend/wife/mother), career or just something dumb like clumsyness. Those aren't personalities, and don't inform the layered choices people make. Men have these great, sometimes tortured, complex leading characters... and these women are finally getting some great complex female characters some air time. I LOVE IT!!!
ehadams ehadams 9 years
I like these channels a lot more than Lifetime, which is supposedly aimed toward women.
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