Television Event


On November 20, 1983, ABC broadcasted The Day After to 100 million people, setting a record for the highest-rated made-for-TV film. Set in the small town of Lawrence, Kansas, the film visualized the aftermath of a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. The film mirrored reality but took it one step further at a time when the two superpowers had each stockpiled incredible arsenals of nuclear weapons, and President Reagan was preaching American supremacy in the geopolitical and ideological conflicts between the U.S. and the USSR. Through interviews and archival footage, Television Event pieces together the colossal effort of the cast and crew to make a film that effectively altered American political strategy. Straddling both eccentric levity and apocalyptic sobriety, director Jeff Daniels reveals the winding pathways the production took to imagine the realities of nuclear war during a tense period of the Cold War.  KL


Filmmaker Q&A available

Closed Captioning available

This film is only available to viewers in the United States


Jeff Daniels


Amanda Spain, Jeff Daniels, Ozzy Inguanzo

Executive Producers

Jenny Raskin, Dan Cogan, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Nion McEvoy, Leslie Berriman, Katrina vanden Heuvel


Eileen Meyer, Aaron Wickenden


Nick Higgins

Release Year


Festival Year




Run Time

90 minutes