/// The Apocalypse Will Be Televised
In 1983, the same year President Ronald Reagan gave his hawkish “evil empire” speech, ABC aired The Day After , a made-for-TV movie about a full-scale nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the U.S. Those marketers brave enough to wade into politically charged waters were rewarded with the largest audience in history for an original TV movie. Some 100 million people—or, a Super Bowl-sized audience—watched Armageddon unfold in Lawrence, Kan. Scaring the bejeezus out of TV viewers was good business then, and it remains so. In these post- Hunger Games , pre-Mayan-prophecy times, apocalyptic series such as TNT’s Falling Skies, Nat Geo’s Doomsday Preppers and AMC’s The Walking Dead (returning Oct. 14), are drawing millions of devoted fans.
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The Apocalypse Will Be Televised