Primetime

Primetime

Dig into the hidden history of television with Vox's critic-at-large, Emily 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 presidency, featuring deep dives into The West Wing, 24, Veep, and more. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Episodes

April 29, 2019 2 min
Welcome to Primetime, a podcast about the power of television and how it affects and reflects our culture. In the first season, host Todd VanDerWerff, Vox’s critic at large, explores the American presidency on TV: stories about how presidents have used TV to further their political ambitions, and how TV has used the presidency to achieve its own goals. From Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network, Primetime premieres Thursday, May 9....
Share
Mark as Played
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 fictional administration made for great entertainment, an idealistic vision of what politics could be. But the show’s idealism was decidedly white — and mostly male. It also obscured a very real partisan divide. Music credit...
Share
Mark as Played
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 terrorism, torture, and America’s role in the world.  Music credits: “Pythagoras” by Podington Bear“24 Theme” by Sean Callery“Going Forward Looking Back” by Podington Bear“Ongoing View (C)" by Laurent Dury“Voyage ...
Share
Mark as Played
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 characters to find out what they reveal about us and our attitudes toward powerful women in the real world. Music credits: “Sugar Frosting” by Charlotte Lucy Glasson, Peter Michael Ludlam, and Hans Hummer“Soothe” by Body...
Share
Mark as Played
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 importance of fathers by bearing a child alone and calling it just another lifestyle choice." But Murphy Brown wasn’t the first single mom on TV, or the first pregnant character to wrestle with whether to have a baby. Other shows tackled more controversial issues like abort...
Share
Mark as Played
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 small screen. We’ll explore how both presidents used the medium to communicate their message directly to their supporters, often avoiding criticism from the press along the way. Music credits: Rue Montclare (A) by Joe Henson, Alexis Leon Smith, and Reinould Willem Rutger FordPositive M...
Share
Mark as Played
Richard Nixon’s political career paralleled the rise of television. He discovered how TV could make or break a politician. His successes and flops set a precedent for politicians who came after him, especially Donald Trump. Both men used television to craft an electable persona, and they shared a secret weapon: one of the most powerful people in TV history, who helped Nixon and Trump shape their images. Music credits:Positive Motio...
Share
Mark as Played
Robert Stone directed the new PBS series "Chasing the Moon." It's chock full of new archival footage from the period. And behind all that footage – some fascinating stories. Stone tells Emily VanDerWerff about a very famous, very recognizable piece of footage that has been lost forever... and about the truth behind the "faking" of the moon landing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adcho...
Share
Mark as Played

Popular Podcasts

    Current and classic episodes, featuring compelling true-crime mysteries, powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations.

    The Daily

    This is what the news should sound like. The biggest stories of our time, told by the best journalists in the world. Hosted by Michael Barbaro. Twenty minutes a day, five days a week, ready by 6 a.m.

    Crime Junkie

    If you can never get enough true crime... Congratulations, you’ve found your people.

    Morbid: A True Crime Podcast

    It’s a lighthearted nightmare in here, weirdos! Morbid is a true crime, creepy history and all things spooky podcast hosted by an autopsy technician and a hairstylist. Join us for a heavy dose of research with a dash of comedy thrown in for flavor.

    Stuff You Should Know

    If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.

Advertise With Us

For You

    Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.

    Connect

    © 2022 iHeartMedia, Inc.