lthough lasting only 17 episodes, TV Nation was a highly popular program, being nominated twice for a primetime emmy award, and winning the emmy for outstanding informational series for the 1994 season. once it was taken off the air 55 thousand letters were sent to the fox broadcasting network, the most letters regarding a single show that station has ever seen.
so what happened?
this hilarious book looks at the life and death of TV Nation from the inside by its creator michael moore and producer kathleen glynn. moore is probably best known for his landmark documentary film Roger & Me, which examined the death of Flint Michigan due to auto plant closures. page after page TV Nation is amazing to read both how this show got on the air in the first place (moore tried to sabotage the idea of a tv show even before they started), and how it brought such amazing stories to the tube again and again.
looking at the series chronologically, moore walks us through many of the shows most popular segments. everything from trying to buy the russian missle (in russia) that had been aimed at michael's hometown during the cold war, love night for the ku klux klan in which the love night mariachi band and cheerleaders come in and drive the klan away (narrowly escaping violent confrontation), to spending a day off with jack "dr. death" kevorkian. TV Nation hired their own spy (ex-soviet) yuri, had a health care olympics between canada, the u.s., and mexico, had 'crackers' the crime-fighting chicken go after corporate crooks, and did about a billion other amazing and fun things.
read this book to remember that we don't have to all stand by and watch the corporate world take advantage of us, remember that the little guy has a voice, and remember that no one likes having a camera in their face. TV Nation took television where it had never been before, and this book documents the struggle and feat of pulling it off.
included are several appendixes. appendix a lists the polls that they had commissioned for many of their shows, from the zany - "65% of all Americans believe that frozen pizza will never be any good and there's nothing science can do about it"- to the frightening - "17% of college graduates would punch themselves really hard in the face for $50."
appendix b is an annotated guide to all of the episodes, "c" tells you how to contact them to buy their goods, videos, and books, and "d" is a resource guide, including urls and contact info., to some of the issues they dealth with.
michael moore is a genius and should be given lots of money to do what he does- representing those without a voice, exposing corporate crime, and fighting for justice. and having fun doing it. buy this book and get inspired.
published by harperperennial books