TVTV (Top Value Television) was formed in 1972 by Michael Shamberg, Megan Williams, Tom Weinberg, and Allen Rucker, and enlisted the support of media collectives including Raindance, Ant Farm, and the Videofreex to provide alternative coverage of the 1972 Presidential nominating conventions. The Democratic tape, The World's Largest TV Studio (1972), and its Republican companion piece, Four More Years (1972) were among the first video documentaries to be broadcast. The convention tapes provided candid interviews with delegates and protestors alike, while exposing the foibles of the media, showing viewers "the underbelly of broadcast TV."
Influenced by New Journalism and the versatility and novelty of portable video equipment, TVTV created a critically acclaimed, graphically inventive, intimate style of documentary satire. TVTV's success led to a contract with the TV Lab at WNET to produce documentaries on cult religion (The Lord of the Universe, 1974), commercials (Adland, 1974), Washington politics (a four-part series, Gerald Ford's America, 1975) and sports (Super Bowl, 1976), among other topics. Frustrated by public television's lack of commitment to independent documentary production, the group lost its shared purpose, moving from cable to public to network TV, finally producing an unsuccessful comedy pilot, The TVTV Show, for NBC in 1978. TVTV disbanded in 1979.
Available Titles by
|Four More Years||1972||Early Video Art, Single Titles|
|Gerald Ford's America, Part One: WIN||1975||Early Video Art, Single Titles|
|Gerald Ford's America, Part Two: Chic to Sheik||1975||Early Video Art, Single Titles|
|The Lord of the Universe||1974||Early Video Art, Single Titles|
|The Good Times Are Killing Me||1975||Early Video Art, Single Titles|
|TVTV Goes to the Super Bowl||1976||Early Video Art, Single Titles|
|TVTV Looks at the Academy Awards||1976||Early Video Art, Single Titles|