Bolen worked for NBC in the 1970s and was responsible for commissioning the long-running game show Wheel of Fortune. She also is credited with bringing long-form narrative to soap operas, expanding them to hour-long formats.
It was long rumored that the ruthless Faye Dunaway character of Diana Christiansen in the 1976 satirical film Network was based on Bolen, something Bolen denied.
She was appointed VP of daytime programming at NBC in 1972, rising to become the VP of programming in Sept. 1975. NBC thrived under her leadership, becoming the No. 1 network in ratings.
She launched NBC soap opera How to Survive a Marriage in 1974, extended Another World