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Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network Launches Primetime

PRESS RELEASE — May 10, 2019

Washington DC, USA—Today Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network published the first episode of Primetime – a new seasonal podcast about the history of television and its impact on American culture. Hosted by Vox’s Critic-at-Large, Todd VanDerWerff (@tvoti), the first season will span six episodes published weekly on Thursdays through June 13.

The first season of Primetime will focus on the storied relationship between our nation’s highest office and its favorite news and entertainment medium. From the famed Nixon-Kennedy debates to today’s “Reality TV Presidency,” Primetime will explore how TV has played a critical role in how presidents communicate with the public as well as the way we remember their legacies – from their milestone accomplishments to their representations across television.

“Since its inception, television has played a critical role in shaping American culture – influencing conversations in living rooms and at office water coolers, even decisions made inside the Oval Office. Primetime shows us how the power of TV has both reflected and changed our collective culture for the better and worse,” said VanDerWerff.

The first episode delves into “why Washington can’t escape The West Wing,” exploring the beloved show’s impact on our views of partisanship, idealism, and diversity in politics. VanDerWerff discusses the show’s hopefulness as well as its more problematic framings of presidential politics.

Throughout the season, VanDerWerff will speak with TV showrunners and writers including Mike Schur, Diane English, David Litt, Evan Katz, Barbara Hall, and Eli Attie, as well as journalists, critics, and historians like Joy Press, Willa Paskin, and Nicole Hemmer.

Episode topics include:

  1. Why Washington can’t escape The West Wing
  2. 24 and the George W. Bush administration
  3. The many fictional presidencies of Hillary Clinton
  4. Dan Quayle vs. Murphy Brown
  5. The Communicators: Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama
  6. The First & Last TV Presidents: Richard Nixon and Donald Trump

Listen to the first episode of Primetime today on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or in your favorite podcast app, and subscribe to the show for free to automatically receive episodes each Thursday through June 13.

About Vox

Vox explains the news. We go deeper into the stories defining the world today, empowering our audience with the context they need to understand what matters, and why.

About the Vox Media Podcast Network

The Vox Media Podcast Network is one of the largest, fastest-growing, and most topically diverse collections of high-quality podcasts. With more than 100 active shows from Vox Media’s editorial networks and partners, our network is home to a show to feed every passion — from daily news and policy, to tech and business, to culture and sports.

This is a press release which we link to from our daily newsletter about podcasting and on-demand. This is reprinted verbatim; we may rewrite headlines and descriptions. Press releases can be sent to


By Vox


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