Pre-Order Now! “Television Event” takes us inside the making of 1983’s nuclear-war shocker “The Day After”



Forty years ago, more than 100 million viewers tuned in to ABC to watch a terrifying television movie called The Day After, a graphic fictional account of a nuclear strike on Middle America and its apocalyptic aftermath.

The broadcast, which was later shown in the Soviet Union and to this day stands as the most-watched TV movie in American history, was widely credited with changing the political conversation around nuclear policy and paving the way for the historic Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987.

The remarkable, behind-the-scenes story of the massive commercial pressures, political controversies, and logistical challenges the filmmakers had to overcome to bring The Day After into America’s living rooms is the subject of the critically acclaimed 2020 documentary Television Event (Doc NYC 2020, Tribeca Festival 2021, Full Frame 2021).

On the 40th anniversary of this momentous broadcast, MEF is thrilled to announce that we’ve acquired the exclusive educational rights to distribute Television Event. The film is now available as a digital site license and for pre-order in all other formats.

Produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Jeff Daniels, Television Event mixes stunning archival footage with recollections from many of the principals involved to tell the darkly funny yet deadly serious inside story of how a commercial broadcaster somehow managed to make an emotional connection with an audience of over 100 million people and force an urgent conversation with the President of the United States about the unthinkable dangers of nuclear proliferation.

Television Event is an invaluable resource for opening up discussions about the continuing, and growing, threat of nuclear war today – ideal for courses ranging from American history, political science, and international relations to communication, media studies, and media production.

Click here to watch a Q & A with the cast and crew of The Day After from earlier this month. The Q & A followed a special screening of Television Event in honor of the 40th anniversary of The Day After broadcast. The event took place in Lawrence, Kansas, where much of The Day After was filmed.




Jeff Daniels is a multi-award winning producer/director specializing in feature-length documentaries. His latest film Television Event met overwhelming critical acclaim at Tribeca 2021 and has since won multiple awards. His first film, The 10 Conditions of Love (2009 – ABC), made international headlines for highlighting China’s arbitrary imprisonment of the Uyghur. His film Mother with a Gun (2016 – Netflix) went inside the militant Jewish Defense League, Fair Game (2017 – SBS) exposed systemic racism in within the Australian Football League, and City of Joel (2018 – Samuel Goldwyn Films) documented the controversial land expansion of a Hasidic community in New York.



“A blast. Witty, moving, and engaging.”
The Hollywood Reporter

“Absolutely riveting, highly entertaining … oddly funny … a wild ride.”
Deadline Hollywood

“Entertaining … [Full of] vivid inside storytellers”

“As entertaining as it is profound … a gem of an historical document.”
Hammer to Nail

“Smartly structured … a celebration of art.”
The Moveable Fest

“Suburb … highly comedic … its impact truly hits home.”
Pop Matters

“Engrossing and profound … Takeaway – the power of art is real.”
Screen Radar

“9/10. Focused and honest. A riveting study of a landmark film.”