Television: Center-Court Sideshow

When Billie Beat Bobby revives a gender battle, a media circus, and maybe the made-for-TV movie

It's unusual to talk about someone who makes TV movies as having themes, a voice, an oeuvre. Scratch that: it's unusual to talk about someone who makes TV movies, period. Yet within this undersung field, writer-director Jane Anderson has wrought a body of wry and poignant work about women and power. Her 1993 The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader Murdering Mom for HBO won her a writing Emmy and helped define a kind of off-kilter, fact-based drama that has become a pay-cable staple. Showtime's 1998 The Baby Dance, about the class tension between a wealthy couple and the...

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