The following is an episode list for the television seriesTV Nation. Written, directed, and hosted by Michael Moore, the show premiered in the United States on NBC on July 19, 1994. After the broadcast of the eighth episode, the show was subsequently cancelled by NBC, but was picked up by Fox for the summer of 1995. A total of 17 episodes were produced during the show's two seasons.
The first season of TV Nation ran from July 19, 1994, to a special New Year's episode. The following table includes short summaries of the individual segments in each episode.
Original U.S. airdate
# in total
July 19, 1994
"NAFTA" - TV Nation takes advantage of the cheaper labor created in Mexico under the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), hiring a Mexican version of Moore known as "NAFTA Mike" to accompany a laid-off GM worker on a tour of a Mexican GM plant.
"Taxi" - Who will have an easier time getting a cab in New York City; Yaphet Kotto, a distinguished black actor, or Louis Bruno, a convicted white felon? As it turned out, the convicted white felon was chosen over the black actor many times. Five years after this episode aired actor Danny Glover also noticed the discrimination, and filed a complaint with the City Taxi and Limousine Commission.
"AIDS Insurance Brokers" - A look at brokers who sell the life insurance policies of AIDS patients at discount prices.
"Klan PR Makeover" - While politicians use public relations experts to take advantage of the media, not many people realize hate groups do the same thing. TV Nation meets the "National Director" of the new, media-savvy Ku Klux Klan to see how the Klan's rhetoric has changed.
"Kuwait" - In light of its liberation in the Gulf War, TV Nation travels to Kuwait to see just how many freedoms liberated Kuwaities actually enjoy.
"Pets on Prozac" - A look into the effects Prozac has on household pets who were prescribed the drug by their veterinarians.
"NBC Show 3"
August 2, 1994
"Dr. Death" - TV Nation visits Dr. Jack Kevorkian at his home in Michigan to find out what he does in his spare time.
"Lobbyist" - In a test to see how much control lobbyists exert in the United States government, TV Nation hires a lobbyist to see what can be accomplished for $5,000. This eventually yields the congressional proclamation of August 16, 1994, as "TV Nation Day" in the USA.
"Amazon Avon" - TV Nation correspondent Louis Theroux follows Avon representatives in the Amazon who sell cosmetics to women that can cost up to 13 times their daily wage.
"North Dakota" - An investigation into why North Dakota is the least visited state in the USA.
"Sludge" - The show follows the path of sludge from New York City to Sierra Blanca, Texas, where the waste is spread in the desert outside of town by the Merco company.
"Product Placement Night"
August 9, 1994
"O.J./Product Placement Night" - TV Nation travels to O.J. Simpson's Ford dealer to learn about the "O.J. Special," and to kick of a series of product placements throughout the episode.
"1-800-TOURISM" - Few people know U.S. prison labor is used by corporations and some state tourism departments to book vacations over the phone.
"Lord Mike" - TV Nation learns that all it takes to become British nobility, (Lord Moore of Foleshill) is $8,000, and that the Diners Club card is accepted as payment for it.
"Health Care Olympics" - A contest between the health care systems of Canada, the U.S., and Cuba featuring play-by-play commentary from Bob Costas and Ahmad Rashad. The original victor of the contest was Cuba, but the outcome was censored by NBC to show Canada as the winner. This segment was also a forerunner to Moore's 2007 documentary Sicko.
"Steven Wright/New Year" - Steven Wright consults a number of experts on the major events that will or will not occur in 1995.
"New Jobs" - TV Nation talks to a number of people in Scranton, Pennsylvania to see what "new" jobs they have gotten and how their lives have improved since the creation of these jobs during the Clinton administration.
"Bruno for President" - TV Nation runs convicted felon Louie Bruno as its candidate in the 1996 Presidential election.
"We're #1" - A visit to cities in America that are number one in some infamous category, such as Playboy subscriptions or carjackings.
"Greenwich" - TV Nation invades the public beach of Greenwich, Connecticut, which is restricted only to residents of Greenwich. After the busload of New Yorkers TV Nation has brought to the beach is turned away, correspondent Janeane Garofalo and some of the New Yorkers take a boat out to sea and then swim onto the beach. The city of Greenwich was later brought to court over the issue.
"Crime Scene Cleanup" - A look at the Barnes, a couple who started a lucrative crime scene cleanup business.
"Slaves" - TV Nation travels to Mississippi to acquire some slaves before the state officially outlaws slavery.
"Payback Night" - After asking people on the street what annoys them, TV Nation visits CEOs at the heart of the complaints, performing tasks like setting off ten car alarms outside the house of a CEO of a car alarm maker, or lifting and dropping a garbage dumpster outsider the owner of a garbage company.
"KGB: Yuri" - The show hires a former KGB officer named Yuri Shvets to begin conducting investigations. Shvets' first mission is to confirm that former U.S. President Richard Nixon is actually dead.
"Johns of Justice" - Citing long lines for women's restrooms at theaters, sporting events, and other venues, TV Nation rents a flatbed truck and many portable toilets, taking them to the aforementioned venues.
"Helltown" - After the Southern Baptist Church published a map of Alabama depicting which counties have the most "unsaved" residents, TV Nation visits the county with the most "lost" souls, and attempts to save them from eternal damnation.
"Crackers -- Philly" - Crackers travels to Philadelphia in search of corporate crime, discovering that banks in the city charge up to $30 for bounced check fees, even if you're not the one responsible for bouncing the check.
"Electronic Sniffer" - The invention of machines that can detect different smells threatens the jobs of people who test products like deordorant and air freshener. TV Nation visits companies that make products like those and pit the human sniffers against their machine counterparts.
"Cobb" - TV Nation takes note of the fact that Cobb County, Georgia, home to outspoken "big government" critic Newt Gingrich, is the third largest receiver of federal funds. The show then tries to relieve Cobb County of government interference by closing its federally funded highways, schools, sewer system, and senior center.
"School of Americas" - A look at a US government run School of Americas in Georgia that trains Latin America soldiers in "population control."
"Widgery" - Insight into the firm of Widgery and Associates, the legitimate polling firm that conducts all of TV Nation's polls.
"Most Wanted" - After being detained by Washington, D.C. police over 20 times because he resembles a fugitive, TV Nation uses billboards and radio ads in Washington to inform police that BET lighting director Brian Anthony Harris is not wanted.
"Love Night" - The show spreads some love to U.S. hate groups, doing things like sending a gay men's choir to sing outside the home of Senator Jesse Helms.
"Militia" - TV Nation visits the Michigan Militia and encourages them to put down their arms and participate in democracy. Militia Commander Norm Olsen bakes a cake, and later the Militia members travel to a local carnival where they ride the Ferris Wheel and sing "Kumbaya."
"DC Perks" - TV Nation tries to enforce the Contract With America, a 1994 effort by the Republican party to win back control of Congress. Specifically, TV Nation notes the Contract says members of Congress must abide by all the laws regular United States citizens do. TV Nation then attempts to park a car in the "Members Only" spaces at National Airport, receive free medical care from Bethesda Naval Hospital, and use the services of the congressional cosmetologist.
"Crackers Tour -- St. Louis" - Crackers goes to the St. Louis area town of Doe Run, Missouri to confront the lead battery factory there. The citizens of the town believe their children have been poisoned by the lead runoff from the factory, so Crackers conducted a series of lead tests and took the results to the state environmental office.
"Falklands" - Argentina promised to pay each citizen of the Falklands Islands $1,000,000 if they became a part of Argentina and renounced their British citizenship. TV Nation finds Falkland residents have little interest in the deal, but that people in Wales were much more willing to renounce their British citizenship for a $1,000,000.
"Hug-A-Gov" - After the new Republican-controlled Congress says it wants to return power to the States, TV Nation tries to touch that power by hugging the governors of all 50 states.
"Psy-Ops" - The show hires a retired U.S. Army psychological operations expert to help conduct a "psy-op" program to destabilize and reduce the massive amount of O.J. Simpson media coverage.
"Rosemont" - The wealthy Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Illinois decided to place guard booths on public streets leading into the city, allowing only people who can prove they are residents of Rosemont in. TV Nation then sets up its own guard booth on the outskirts of Rosemont to prevent the town's residents from entering Chicago.
"Unions" - TV Nation looks at new groups of non-industrial workers who are beginning to unionize, such as the Buffalo Bills cheerleading squad and cartoon characters at Disney World.
"White Men" - The show assembles a panel of white male experts to examine the threat from the white man's supposed enemies, like minorities and women.
"Most Wanted, Part 2" - After receiving a number of African-American viewer responses to the "Most Wanted" segment, rapper Doug E. Fresh takes the names of these TV Nation viewers to the FBI in Washington, D.C. to the tell agency that these people are not wanted by law enforcement officials.
"Fan Mail" - TV Nation's candidate in the 1996 Presidential Election, Louie Bruno, answers viewer fan mail along with his campaign manager Lucky.
"Bully Reunion Night" - Each TV Nation correspondent is reunited with their bully from high school.
"Confession" - Janeane Garofalo visits twenty Catholic churches in the New York City area to confess the same sin in order to see which church hands out the harshest punishment. (NOTE: Michael Moore originally presented the idea in his first meeting with NBC executives about TV Nation. It met with much laughter and positive reception, despite Moore's instance that, "think of all the hate mail you'll get from your Catholic viewers--including me!"  Despite Moore's reservations, the segment was filmed for the Pilot episode of TV Nation, with the "recovering Catholic" Garofalo eager to do the piece. Confident he would "burn in eternal hell" if he ran the segment, Moore decided not to include the piece in the Pilot, only to finally give in and air it in this second season episode.)
"TV Felons" - The show travels around Great Britain with "TV Cops" who bust British citizens that haven't paid for a license to watch television.
"Crackers -- Detroit" - Crackers investigates the strikes of the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News, then attempts to stop the scab newspapers from being published.
"KGB4" - Yuri Shvets tries to find out what happened to the heart and soul of the Democratic Party in the United States.
"Weatherman" - After a weatherman is fired for refusing to lie and go ahead with his forecast of rain on the day of a Republican Party picnic, TV Nation hires him.
"Fox Show 8"
only aired outside U.S.
Features the Health Care Olympics, the radio weatherman who lost his job for forecasting rain, and Rusty Cundieff looking at business philosophies. The show was produced for this second season on Fox, but never found an airdate on the network (or in the United States for that matter). This episode aired exclusively on BBC Two on 9 October 1995.
The release of TV Nation on two VHS volumes in 1997 offered a chance to view two unaired segments considered too controversial to be aired on broadcast television at the time. In the first segment at the end of Volume One, one of the correspondents visits drug stores and inquires about extra-small sized condoms. The second unaired segment at the end of Volume Two looks at the Phelps family, known for picketing the funerals of AIDS victims.