Hooray for Hollywood?
TVTV's acceptance was due largely to their ability to "polish the rough but vital ethos of 'guerrilla video' to a marketable gloss." 1 But despite a track record that included more boosts than knocks, TVTV still waited for a firm commitment for future work. Independent producers were all clamoring for a bigger presence in public television, having formed a Coalition for New Public Affairs Programming in February 1976, and competition among filmmakers and videomakers to get their work aired on PBS threatened to become livelier and tougher. Larry Grossman, new head of PBS, had promised to introduce innovative projects like a weekly news show with input from independent producers as well as a weekly evening of independently produced documentaries, but nothing as yet had come of it. 2
With the conclusion of Super Bowl, TVTV's relationship with WNET had ended, and they had no idea what they could expect from KCET, the Los Angeles PBS affiliate that signed them to produce a program on the Oscars.
Beginning with the announcements of the nominees, including a young Steven Spielberg doing a comic lament at being passed over yet again, this time for Best Director (Jaws), TVTV travelled to the homes of nominees, interviewed them, zipped up their dresses, and rode with them to and from the ceremonies, recording their reactions. Goldie Hawn, Jack Nicholson, and Ronnee Blakely, among others, gave star turns as themselves; Lee Grant, who won the award for Best Actress (in Shampoo), provided TVTV with candid interviews before, during, and after the affair. TVTV also traveled to Oregon to interview Ken Kesey, whose novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was the basis for the Best Picture. The interview offered a perfect TVTV moment, focusing on a countercultural hero speaking about being ripped off by the crass commercial people of Tinseltown.
At the center of TVTV Looks at the Oscars is Lily Tomlin, nomi-