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Morning Talk Show on the ABC Television Network
Spring 1988
Many THANKS! to Totally Kate contributors for the interview and transcript! 

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JOAN LUNDON:   (gives the premise behind Heartbeat and then shows a clip) And Kate Mulgrew is with us.  What are you getting yourself into?

KATE MULGREW:   (referring to clip) Looking chagrined.

JOAN LUNDON:  Into what has been called a post- feminist medical saga, strikingly candid.  Tell us a little bit about the show.  What makes it different from all the other medical shows?

KATE MULGREW:  What makes it different, in my opinion, and certainly in my case, is my barometer of happiness.  I mean something that has always been a trial in the past, which is promotion, is in this case an absolute delight.  I have been perfectly happy for a lot of the right reasons, I think.  The success of this show is attributable to an extraordinary, if slightly formidable triumvirate of women:  Karen Blanchard, on whom my character is based.  A wonderful gynecologist/obstetrician in Santa Monica who founded this clinic. Sarah Davidson, the head writer who created, nurtured, delivered this piece and Esther Shapiro, a long associate, as you know, of Aaron Spelling who has executed it.  And they are together, probably most notably Sarah in this case, remarkably intelligent, fine women.

JOAN LUNDON:  And really know how to take a slice of life because this is not a normal Aaron Spelling production.  I was reading one thing, 'there's no glitz, little glamour, no consumption of luxury items conspicuous or otherwise, that you see the medical profession really eating out of the take out plastic containers...

KATE MULGREW: That's right.

JOAN LUNDON:   ...and the way it really is and get in on all these little conversations.


JOAN LUNDON:  That's also taking a chance, of course, doing a show like that.

KATE MULGREW:  Is it taking a chance?  It's about time.  It's a perfect reflection of what's going on in the 80's for women.  I mean how marvelous for women in this profession, in any field, to be able to look at this.

JOAN LUNDON:  You know, thinking about that, there still seems to be some reluctance on the part of a lot of women to go to a woman gynecologist.  Why do you think that is?

KATE MULGREW:  Well, why don't you tell me.  Do you go to a woman gynecologist?

JOAN LUNDON:  Well, as a matter of fact, I don't.

KATE MULGREW:  There's a trust factor.


KATE MULGREW:  Well, it's been so long, three years.

JOAN LUNDON:  Oh, come on, you have a three and a four year old.

KATE MULGREW:  I would definitely the next time.  Absolutely without question. It's a trust thing; it's an idolatry problem.  For years men have been at the forefront of this field and it has been Doctor Good and Doctor Wonderful and we're trying to break those barriers down.


KATE MULGREW:  One of the marvelous things about this show is that you introduce these doctors by their first name.  I'm called Joanne.  It allows you to have a relationship with your doctor, tell me about it.

JOAN LUNDON:  And gain the trust.

KATE MULGREW:  Absolutely.

JOAN LUNDON: This show could really do wonderful things on that front.

KATE MULGREW:  I hope so, inform women.

JOAN LUNDON:  Speaking of the little three and four year old, remember those two little guys back home.

KATE MULGREW:  Oh, God, I do.  (waves at camera)  Sweetie, sweetie.

JOAN LUNDON:  Yeah, this is going to be tough.  You're going to have what, 14 hour days working on this?  Lots of guilt here, Kate?

KATE MULGREW:  It's going to be very tough.  I'm going to try to forget the guilt and dive into the joy of it.  It is extremely difficult.  I don't know that there is ever any reconciliation.  I really don't.  That's why I asked you before we went on how you felt about it.  You just have to grab it.  This is too good.  This is too wonderful.  This character is somebody that I --- I mean I really can say without shame, without hesitation --- that I love her. The writing is exemplary.  The ideas are profoundly good, and if you've seen it, the company, I think is exceptional.

JOAN LUNDON:  Wednesday nights.  It's gotten rave, rave reviews.  Listen, good luck on it.  I think it's a terrific show.

KATE MULGREW: Thank you very much.  Thanks.