THE TELEVISION EVENT


In the early 1980s a group of American television network executives set out to make "the most important film we or anyone else ever made." Titled, THE DAY AFTER this 2-hour "television event" portrayed the harrowing effects of a nuclear war on America’s heartland.


What perfect timing. The TV movie’s airdate in 1983 was at the peak of the nuclear arms race and Soviet Russia was reportedly far ahead. President Reagan just swept into power with the promise that a nuclear war was winnable with a shovel, three feet of dirt over your head and enough nuclear warheads to deter Russia’s “evil empire” from pressing that button.


Whether or not they were convinced, angst-ridden Americans were about to see what ‘surviving’ a nuclear holocaust looked like, radiation sickness, skin ulcers and all, on national television.


Who wasn’t going to watch this film?


The White House immediately feared it, anti-nukers praised it, film-critics panned it, yet over 100 million Americans watched THE DAY AFTER. With executives in the editing room, corporate sponsors requesting no blood, and "notes" from President Reagan himself, how did network television ever get this film made? 

YEAR

Late-Development