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TV's Revenge of the Boomer Women

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood August 1, 2009 at 5:43AM

It's the revenge of the boomer women. As the movie business has largely abandoned the female demo, especially older segments, television has picked up the slack. Here's my story at More Magazine, which boasts Saving Grace star Holly Hunter on the cover. I'm still catching up with the last season of Damages, starring the ravishing Glenn Close. The ABC soap opera Brothers and Sisters, starring mighty matriarch Sally Field, is a guilty pleasure. And this summer's manna from heaven is Nurse Jackie, starring Sopranos great Edie Falco as a complicated, fallible, sexy New York hospital nurse who cares about saving lives--while popping pills and cheating on her husband.
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Thompson on Hollywood

It's the revenge of the boomer women. As the movie business has largely abandoned the female demo, especially older segments, television has picked up the slack. Here's my story at More Magazine, which boasts Saving Grace star Holly Hunter on the cover. I'm still catching up with the last season of Damages, starring the ravishing Glenn Close. The ABC soap opera Brothers and Sisters, starring mighty matriarch Sally Field, is a guilty pleasure. And this summer's manna from heaven is Nurse Jackie, starring Sopranos great Edie Falco as a complicated, fallible, sexy New York hospital nurse who cares about saving lives--while popping pills and cheating on her husband.

Writers Linda Wallem and Liz Brixius are TV writers who at one time struggled with addiction. They took an original nurse story that was dark, not sellable, they said, took the gloves off and let fly. It helps that on a cable network like Showtime, they could be less beholden to advertisers and more beholden to subscribers. Their sense of escape from 18 years of constricting network series writing is palpable. "We're going to prove that women in their 40s can make shows for boys who are 19," says Brixius.

This article is related to: Stuck In Love, TV, Screenwriters


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.