It's the 10th anniversary week of Buffy The Vampire Slayer's series finale, Chosen. We celebrate Sarah Michelle Gellar's show.
Hot In Cleveland's hot older women in TV
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Cast of Hot In Cleveland
The third season premiere of Hot in Cleveland launches on Sony Entertainment Television from 14 September at 8.30pm.
Starring Jane Leeves as Joy, Wendi Malick as Victoria and Valerie Bertinelli as Melanie, it revolves around three women of a certain age who've moved to Cleveland, with TV legend Betty White as Elka, the sassy caretaker of their new home.
Many episodes convey the challenges faced by women over 40, single, divorced or widowed as they face the intimidating worlds of dating, work and motherhood and reviewing the choices they have made in life.
The show does not resort to the safeguard of storylines revolving around younger characters and their love lives.
Hot in Cleveland demonstrates that there is no age limit on success; Betty White, has won two consecutive Screen Actors Guild Awards (in 2011 and 2012) for her portrayal of Elka.
The upcoming third season features a range of guest appearances including series producer, Sean Hayes. If that name sounds familiar, it's because he's best known as Jack in Will and Grace. In addition to Hot in Cleveland, we showcase a few more Hollywood shows giving women in their prime a chance to shine in primetime.
Tina Fey has become an iconic figure thanks to her incredible talent and the success of this show.
A regular on the American Comedy circuit, and an excellent Sarah Palin impersonator, in 30 Rock, Tina Fey plays Liz Lemon - the sharp-witted and often put-upon writer of a hit chat show who has to juggle the out-of-control Tracy Jordan (played by Tracy Morgan), and the often comically offensive Jack Donaghy, played by Alec Baldwin.
Although Baldwin frequently steals the show, it is Tina Fey's exasperation and wit that keeps bringing fans back, proving that TV is not just a young person's game, either onscreen or off.
Millions of fans were left bereft when this hugely popular series came to an end. For the most part, the ladies of Wisteria Lane were a perfect illustration of how glamorous middle-aged women could be, a good few years before Hot in Cleveland came along.
Cast of Desperate Housewives
Initially the show attracted attention for salvaging the failing career of ex-Bond girl Teri Hatcher. It promptly became a haven for actresses such Vanessa Williams and Alfre Woodard to prove that women over 40 could be just as sexy as women in their 20s.
This superlative sitcom is a huge hit in the US; it features a range of characters typically either marginalised or overly stereotyped on screen. Julie Bowen has received praise from critics for making her character, mother Claire Dunphy, standout when she could easily have been just another "tv mom".
Sofia Vergara plays Claire's younger step-mother, Gloria. A starkly different character, she is also a dedicated mother and wife, but contrasts strongly with Claire by dint of being a great deal hotter and sexier. Modern Family allows its two female leads the freedom to play middle-aged suburban mums with more depth than normally seen.
Brothers and Sisters
Family drama Brothers and Sisters completed its successful run of five seasons in 2011. Over those five years, the wealthy Walker family was rocked by a steady stream of drama, scandal and intrigue. Oscar-winner Sally Field played matriarch Nora Walker; she held the family together through sheer will alone, winning the hearts of fans, and stealing the show from her younger co-stars courtesy of a performance imbued with empathy, passion and complexity.
Commander in Chief
Geena Davis joins the ever-increasing list of women who moved to the small screen as their silver screen career slowed down. In Commander in Chief, she played Mackenzie 'Mac' Allen - the first female vice-president who becomes President when her predecessor dies suddenly.
A gripping drama that received critical acclaim, the audience walked every step with Mackenzie as she faced a range of challenges. Low ratings meant it only lasted two seasons, but it's worth checking out.
This series initially based its premise on the phenomenon of 'cougars', but it slowly evolved into a completely different show. It has now found its groove as an ensemble comedy about the lives of a group of 40-somethings (think Friends 10 years on, especially as it's produced by, and stars, Courteney Cox).
Cougar Town, shown on Sky Living in the UK, stars Courteney Cox as Jules, a woman struggling with the challenges and pitfalls of life. The series also stars Brian Van Holt, Christa Miller, Ian Gomez and Josh Hopkins. There is some reliance on narrative strands around the younger characters (such as those involving Jules' son and her assistant, played by Busy Phillipps), but the main focus is definitely how women deal with life after 40.
Like many others on this list, Medium played with various stereotypes only to turn them on their head. Patricia Arquette ably fronts this drama about a mother and housewife who can see the dead.
While sci-fi drama has often leant towards young, sexy types (see Sarah Michelle Gellar in Buffy The Vampire Slayer or any of the leads in Charmed), Medium has a 40-something, working mum as played by Patricia Arquette. The show ended in 2011, but it had many fans.
Hot in Cleveland launches on Sony Entertainment Television on Friday 14 September at 8.30pm
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