Author Topic: The Day After vs. Conflict  (Read 3966 times)

JCostaThePro

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The Day After vs. Conflict
« on: July 24, 2013, 06:32:32 AM »
Something i always wondered.

For years, i keep reading that the main inspiration for the rarely-seen 1983 MRN week on Conflict (1521-1525) was because of the ABC miniseries The Day After as to "help children cope with the potential feelings they had from the film." What's the connection? I mean, why would Rogers assume that children saw and were familiar with The Day After when it's not intended for younger audiences anyways? Sure, maybe some kids snuck in on it, but not everyone.

Similarly, the highlight of the Superheroes (1466-1470) week was to help children understand that The Incredible Hulk is just somebody in costume. But why would he think little children watch that show and are familiar with it? Back on the topic of The Day After, i've been doing some searching and none of the articles on that film, not even TVTropes', mention a thing about it's connection with MRN Conflict. Only the articles on MRN mention that fact. Did Rogers, David Newell or anyone at FRC ever mention The Day After when talking about the Conflict week?
« Last Edit: July 24, 2013, 06:34:30 AM by JCostaThePro »

Neighborhood Archive

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Re: The Day After vs. Conflict
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2013, 07:02:50 AM »
I had a conversation with a few of the folks from the Fred Rogers Company about this exact topic a few years ago and they said there was no connection between the movie and the Conflict week.

As mentioned on the pages for the Conflict episodes:

The original broadcast of this series coincided with ABC's airing of the television film The Day After. It is often believed that these episodes were designed to help children cope with potential feelings brought on by the film; however, the timing of the movie and this series was purely coincidental.

http://www.neighborhoodarchive.com/mrn/episodes/1521/index.html

earnhardtfan4life

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Re: The Day After vs. Conflict
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2013, 02:21:18 PM »
I thought I had heard or read that the "Conflict" episodes were reflected off of what was going on in Lebanon at the time.  Images of war were seen on national television.  I think that was what Fred was worried about.  Did he come out with anything that reflected the Vietnam war?  I'm surprised he didn't.  Maybe he thought he couldn't at the time.

Mike

JCostaThePro

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Re: The Day After vs. Conflict
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2013, 02:49:54 PM »
I thought I had heard or read that the "Conflict" episodes were reflected off of what was going on in Lebanon at the time.  Images of war were seen on national television.  I think that was what Fred was worried about.  Did he come out with anything that reflected the Vietnam war?  I'm surprised he didn't.  Maybe he thought he couldn't at the time.

Mike

That would make a lot of sense, considering Rogers didn't like television and was fed up with TV newscasts showing images of war and killings. Also, the fact there were many wars going on around the time Conflict last aired was part of the reason for it getting phased out.

mitsguy2001

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Re: The Day After vs. Conflict
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2013, 11:11:10 PM »
I thought I had heard or read that the "Conflict" episodes were reflected off of what was going on in Lebanon at the time.  Images of war were seen on national television.  I think that was what Fred was worried about.  Did he come out with anything that reflected the Vietnam war?  I'm surprised he didn't.  Maybe he thought he couldn't at the time.

Mike

I have a feeling that Episodes 1-5, the first week of black and white episodes that aired nationally, was inspired by the Vietnam war.

mitsguy2001

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Re: The Day After vs. Conflict
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2013, 11:12:50 PM »
I always assumed that the airdate of Conflict was due to Veterans Day falling on the Friday of that week, Nov. 11, 1983.  The Tuesday of that week, Nov. 8, 1983, was Election Day.  Remember, Nov. 11, 1918 was when World War 1 ended, and was originally called Armistice Day.  Episode 1525 seems appropriate for such a day.  Also, this was the only week of episodes to debut during that week of any year.

mitsguy2001

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Re: The Day After vs. Conflict
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2013, 11:22:02 PM »
A few other points about Conflict:

1. I have read several times, including on tvtropes, that because of 9/11, Conflict reran the week of Nov. 12-16, 2001.  Does anyone know if that is true?  I seriously doubt that.  The printed schedule (yes, I know it was printed before 9/11) showed Divorce airing that week, on on the old Yahoo board, some people remember Divorce that week, and nobody remembers Conflict that week.  Could maybe some PBS stations have aired Conflict that week?  Or is this just an urban legend?

2. In several instances (including a YouTube video from January 1991), Betty Aberlin has hinted that Fred did not want to air Conflict near the Gulf War.  However, the schedule for that season shows Conflict airing the week of Oct. 1-5, 1990.  Does anyone remember whether or not Conflict did air that week, or was it maybe pulled from the schedule?  Or, was Betty just saying that October 1990 wasn't sufficiently close to the war, and that she wanted it to air again in January?  Betty, if you still post, I'd be curious to hear what you remember from back then.

JAO93

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Re: The Day After vs. Conflict
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2013, 01:11:15 AM »
Quote
I have read several times, including on tvtropes, that because of 9/11, Conflict reran the week of Nov. 12-16, 2001.  Does anyone know if that is true?  I seriously doubt that.
Not that I'm aware of... TVTropes, as with other "Wikis", is best taken with a grain of salt (or perhaps a large pack of McDonalds French fries).

jack.dispennett

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Re: The Day After vs. Conflict
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2013, 02:17:41 AM »
Similarly, the highlight of the Superheroes (1466-1470) week was to help children understand that The Incredible Hulk is just somebody in costume. But why would he think little children watch that show and are familiar with it?

I would surmise that it was because Fred was a realist. Even though he, as a friend of children and an expert in child development, knew that such a program was not developmentally appropriate for children, he knew that many children are still exposed to such media. I can vouch for this, in particular. I have been working with preschoolers for about five years now, and I regularly hear them talking to me about "Chucky, Michael Myers," et al. And these are programs that are not (presumably) even intended for children of any age. Fred knew that children were going to be exposed to scary things in the world, and that is why he didn't shy away from addressing those topics on his program.