Primetime

7 EpisodesProduced by Vox

Dig into the hidden history of television with Vox's critic-at-large, Todd VanDerWerff. Each season, we explore the tragic, comedic, and occasionally world-changing stories that have marked a medium that's dominated the global conversation for the last 75 years. First up: TV's relationship with the … read more

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How Nixon’s TV strategy paved the way for Trump

June 13th, 2019

23:59
Richard Nixon’s political career paralleled the rise of television. He discovered how TV could make or break a politician. His successes and flops …

The TV Presidents: Reagan and Obama

June 6th, 2019

19:31
While they had radically different styles and politics, Presidents Reagan and Obama had at least one thing in common: They were both masters of the …

When the vice president took on a sitcom character

May 30th, 2019

20:41
In May 1992, the TV character Murphy Brown gave birth to a baby boy. The following day, Vice President Dan Quayle publicly blamed Brown for "mocking …

The fictional presidencies of Hillary Clinton

May 23rd, 2019

19:20
Fictional women in power on TV have a lot in common with Hillary Rodham Clinton. Characters on The Good Wife, Scandal, House of Cards, Commander in Chief — the list goes on and on. On this episode, we examine these …

24's twisted relationship with the war on terror

May 16th, 2019

23:06
24 premiered less than two months after the 9/11 terror attacks. That timing — and the show’s subject matter — affected the way a lot of important people, at the highest levels of United States government, think about …

Why Washington can't escape The West Wing

May 9th, 2019

25:35
When The West Wing was on the air, during the Clinton and Bush years, a lot of liberal viewers were pining for a Democratic president with a strong sense of right and wrong — someone like President Bartlet. His …

Introducing Primetime

April 29th, 2019

2:13
Welcome to Primetime, a podcast about the power of television and how it affects and reflects our culture. In the first season, host Todd …
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