Before ‘I Love Lucy,’ Gertrude Berg created one of the first sitcoms. Here are other women pioneers in TV

A mural displays an iconic episode of “I Love Lucy.” Lucille Ball often comes up when discussing the early days of TV. But what other other leading women in the history of TV? Photo by Lucy Gray (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Women pioneers in the TV industry are often overlooked. But a new book argues that four women were behind some key TV formats. Irna Phillips created the soap opera. Gertrude Berg created one of the first sitcoms. Hazel Scott was the first Black primetime TV host. Betty White helped create the daytime talk show. The book is called “When Women Invented Television: The Untold Story of the Female Powerhouses Who Pioneered the Way We Watch Today.”


Jennifer Keishin Armstrong - author of “When Women Invented Television”

Madeleine Brand

Sarah Sweeney, Angie Perrin, Michell Eloy, Amy Ta, Rosalie Atkinson, Brian Hardzinski, Bennett Purser