Marilyn's career expanded rapidly at the moment when television started to eat into cinema supremacy.
At the beginning of the 60's, the theatergoing had reduced by half compared with the moment when Marilyn had signed her first contract with a Hollywood studio.
She rarely appeared in TV programs during her life-time. She feared that because of her nervousness, she would give a poor image of herself, live, or even during interviews recorded in studio.
She did her very first TV appearance in an advert for Royal Triton oil (), and really did her debut in the "Jack Benny Show" broadcasted on September 13, 1953, where she played in a skit with the
On April 8, 1955 after having left Hollywood, she gave a live interview in the Edward R.Murrow program, "Person to Person". It was her last live appearance, despite the lucrative offers she had later.
Thus, it has been said that in 1957 a TV network offered her 2 millions $ to appear, as the star, in her own TV program.
Marilyn's antipathy towards the television, was partly linked to a personal problem : she was very disappointed when she discovered that Joe DiMaggio prefered watching television rather than speaking to her and taking care of her. It has been said that DiMaggio made sure of the presence of a TV set in the hotel room where they spent their wedding night.
In 1961 she had started negotiations to be in the limelight of the TV version of Somerset Maugham's "Rain".
The negotiations ended up when NBC refused to entrust Lee Strasberg with the direction, and when Marilyn was opposed to every replacement solution.