TV screenwriter Treva Silverman made Emmy history in 1974 as the first woman ever to win the award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series without a male partner for her work on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. “I won the Emmy for comedy and another woman won the Emmy for drama,” she recalled during her StartTV interview.
“So it was a big, big deal.” Not only that: Silverman also took home the Emmy for Writer of the Year for a Series.
The series was truly groundbreaking. “With Mary, her work was the center of her life,” Silverman said. “I didn’t realize it so much at the time, but so many little girls watched it and [thought] ‘Oh Mommy, I don’t have to be just a mommy. Maybe I can have an office that I really like to go to, too.’”
Fast forward to today, and Silverman says it is still fundamental to have female characters who serve as role models, explaining, “Since television is how a lot of people learn about the world…everybody learns a lot, and if they can see strong women, it’s like a four-year college education.”