KQED Plus (SF Bay Area PBS Affiliate) to present the California broadcast premiere of “Television Event,” a new documentary on how the most controversial, most watched made-for-TV movie of all time, “The Day After” (1983), shook-up America, rattled President Reagan and helped avert nuclear war.

This Thursday April 18th at 8:45 PM KQED Plus in San Francisco will air Television Event, a new documentary about the most impactful television event in the history of broadcasting: ABC’s The Day After (1983)With irreverent humor and sobering apocalyptic vision, Television Event director Jeff Daniels reveals how a few courageous individuals managed to stand up to corporate executives, aghast sponsors, and White House pressure to bring a vivid depiction of the realities of nuclear war right into our living rooms.

Broadcast in 1983, smack in the middle of the hottest period of the Cold War, The Day After was watched by over 100 million Americans and later 200 million Russians – most of the adult population – leaving them shocked and traumatized — including President Reagan who found it  “very effective and left me greatly depressed.”  Shaken, he shifted from saber-rattling to meeting with Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev and initiating treaties that led to greatly reducing nuclear weapons on both sides.

“Depressingly, we again seem to be racing toward nuclear extinction,” said Television Event director Jeff Daniels, “with the US and Russia rehashing the saber-rattling of the 1980s and seven more countries threatening to press the red button.”

Daniels’ documentary features the director of The Day After Nicholas Meyer, of Star Trek fame, who recently signed An Open Letter from Hollywood on Oppenheimer and Nuclear Weapons. “I signed the letter because as influencers we have a big responsibility to get this message out,” Meyer said. “The more Hollywood can alert people the better chance we all have to survive.”

Daniels concluded: “My team produced this film in the hopes of waking up the public, so we don’t sleepwalk into the apocalypse. The Day After proved that, however polarized we may be ideologically, we can still come together, inform ourselves, and act to prevent the obscene devastation caused by nuclear weapons.”

“Absolutely riveting… oddly funny… a wild ride”— Deadline
“A Blast…Witty, Moving and Engaging” — The Hollywood Reporter