Star of Hit 1960s TV Series Mines Internet Gold From a Largely Ignored Demo

Mar 17, 2014  •  Post A Comment

An actress known for her role on a 1960s comedy series has become what The New York Times calls “an unlikely innovator on Internet TV.” Marlo Thomas, the star of the 1960s series “That Girl" and the creator of the “Free to Be … You and Me” franchise, has emerged as a player in the digital world.

Thomas hosts a half-hour talk show called “Mondays with Marlo” that has built a strong audience since its debut three years ago, the piece notes. Its success comes from what the story calls a focus on a “largely ignored demographic”: women older than 35.

The show, which is broadcast on AOL and draws half a million views per episode, will feature its 100th guest today, with Chelsea Clinton visiting the program. The show allows viewers to submit questions on specific topics geared to its guests.

Previous guests have included Rosie O’Donnell, who answered questions on cardiovascular health (she had a heart attack in 2012), and TV host Kelly Ripa, who talked about balancing life and work.

Thomas said the idea for the show came from her work for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. At public events, female audience members would ask questions about personal issues, sparking a search for a website that might provide the answers. Thomas said she couldn’t find a place focusing on women over 35.

The show is sponsored by General Mills, which suggests some guests, such as Dr. Sharon Mulvagh, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist, the piece adds.

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