Facing nuclear reality, 35 years after “The Day After” December 14, 2018
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) has released a new multimedia presentation on the 1983 television movie The Day After. This landmark film showed the actual consequences of a full-scale nuclear war, and it had a major role in shaping American public opinion about nuclear weapons. ABC broadcast The Day After on November 20, 1983, with no commercial breaks during the final hour. More than 100 million people saw it—nearly two-thirds of the total viewing audience. It remains one of the most-watched television programs of all time. At the time of the original release, Ted Koppel hosted TV programming about The Day After to help American audiences process what they’d seen. To accompany the release of the multimedia presentation, John Mecklin, editor-in-chief of BAS, interviewed Koppel about the influence of the film and the programming that accompanied it.