Prime Time TVTV
What pecksniffery lurks in the hearts of men? TVTV knows, bwooo- hooo-hooo-hahahahahaha. Does a poltroon, a mountebank threaten the lives of decent citizens? Looks like a job for . . . TVTV! "Extry, extry! TVTV Rips Veneer Off Fake Guru!" "Here, son, I'll take one of those . . . keep the change." "Gee, thanks, Mister. Say, aren't you . . . ?"
TVTV has struck again. TVTV is part League of Justice, part television's answer to the New Journalism, part guerrilla style Front Page and part Samuel Beckett. Television of the Absurd. Through a lens, starkly. Witty, irreverent, deadpan--but never quite able to conceal the cold eye of the reformer.
-- Ron Powers1
Soon after the Presidential Nominating Conventions, Allen Rucker of TVTV and Alvin Duskin, a millionaire clothing manufacturer turned political and media activist, 2 began work on a tape about the people behind television commercials. The idea was in keeping with TVTV's interest in exposing the inner workings of the television industry. Duskin's San Francisco group, Public Interest Communications, was involved in counteradvertising and was to have produced the program with TVTV. But when Public Interest Communications proved unwilling to provide full funding for the tape, TVTV severed their ties and decided to produce it themselves. 3
Raising funding from foundations for Adland continued to be difficult. TVTV suspected this was because they planned a vérité approach to the subject rather than a didactic documentary. Money was raised by setting up a limited partnership, in which shares in the production were sold to individual investors who, in turn, received a portion of the profits or write-off against income taxes. By selling