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Devil Worship: Exposing Satan’s Underground (1988) Geraldo Rivera 80’s TV Satanic Scare

” Twenty-one years ago tonight, television standards plunged further when NBC aired “Devil Worship: Exposing Satan’s Underground,”a two-hour “documentary” from “journalist” Geraldo Rivera.

The network touted the special as an investigation into crimes and a correlation between heavy metal music and Satanism, but the Washington Post’s Tom Shales had a different description, calling it “dirty-minded teleporn,” filled with “talk about butchered babies, dismembered corpses, cannibal cults and sex orgies.”

He noted the networks had cut their departments of standards and practices, attributing the whittling to “hyped competitiveness fostered by the Reagan administration’s sweeping deregulation” of broadcasting.

NBC began “Devil Worship” at 8 p.m. – the slot it reserved for “ALF,” “The Cosby Show” and “Family Ties” on other nights – requiring frequent interruptions for disclaimers and parental advisories.

As Shales reported, Rivera himself addressed parents during the broadcast: “I am begging you. This subject is just too upsetting for your young children. Please, get them out of the room or change the station!”

 

NBC’s entertainment division produced “Devil Worship,” triggering much strife within the network.

The news division refused to allow Rivera on “Today” to promote “Devil Worship,” and “Nightly News” anchor Tom Brokaw told the Los Angeles Times “quasi-news programs cheapens the genuine news product.”

In the days before broadcast, with negative publicity mounting, NBC was forced to sell some commercials at half price.

The Los Angeles Times reported KNBC’s “Devil Worship” broadcast carried just 14 commercials, including two for the National Enquirer and three for new horror movies.

An NBC spokeswoman told the Times the network’s switchboards received 331 complaints in New York and Burbank. (A secretary at the NBC affiliate in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, said it received just one call – from a viewer whose home lost power as the broadcast began and wanted a rerun.)

“Devil Worship” finished fifth in the weekly ratings, with viewers in almost 20 million homes. Only NBC’s “Cosby,” “Cheers” and “A Different World” and CBS’s “60 Minutes” ranked higher.

In his 1992 memoir “The Last Great Ride,” NBC entertainment chief Brandon Tartikoff recalled hiring Rivera after he scored big ratings opening Al Capone’s vault in a live syndicated special in 1986.

Another concession: “Devil Worship” was conceived as a “blunting weapon” to counter the second episode of ABC’s “Roseanne,” which ended up ranking eighth.

Although Tartikoff was apologetic in the days after the “Devil Worship” broadcast, he struck a somewhat defensive tone in his book, noting affiliates received calls and letters from viewers thanking NBC for “exposing this very real problem … infecting their communities.”

Still, Tartikoff wrote, “If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t.”

TV Time Capsule

 

File under Blast From The Past, Comedy, Conspiracy Theory, Cults, Culture, Fashion, Fetish, Horror, Kooky Characters, Music, SeMeN SPeRmS Approved, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS ViDeO CLuB, Sex, Trash TV

20/20 – New Jersey Mental Metal Maniacs!


File under Back In The Dunn Day, Bang Your Head Or I'll Rip It Off, Billoney.com, Drunk Kids, Kooky Characters, SeMeN SPeRmS ViDeO CLuB

Shattered…If Your Kid’s On Drugs (1986) Pot Pills Crack Judd Nelson Burt Reynolds

After school special drama about the dangers of drugs and drinking. Featuring Judd Nelson and Burt Reynolds, who must have been caught doin’ something naughty ‘n had to do this as a community service. Also starring a young and impressionable Dermot Mulroney.

httpvp://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=FA8E67102B54DE03


Shattered…If Your Kid’s On Drugs

File under Blast From The Past, Drugsploitation, Massive Consumption of Drugs, SeMeN SPeRmS Approved, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS ViDeO CLuB

Punk Rock News Series KTTV Channel 11 News Los Angeles From 1983

1983 Punk Rock Series on KTTV Channel 11 News. A five segment look into the Punk Rock Movement from England to Los Angeles, starting in the late 70’s. This 5-part series aired nightly one week in 1983 on the Los Angeles Channel 11 News. Contains Interviews and footage of the Circle Jerks, The Exploited, FEAR, Youth Brigade, and RF7. Surprisingly positive and not sensationalist towards the movement.



File under Music, Punksploitation, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS ViDeO CLuB, Trash TV

SRA – Satanic Ritual Abuse

Satanic Ritual Abuse

Satanic ritual abuse is a.k.a. Cult Related Abuse, Ritual Abuse, Ritualized Abuse, Sadistic Ritual Abuse, Organized Sadistic Abuse, etc.


File under SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS ViDeO CLuB

Times Square (1980) Crazy Punk Teenage Runaways Cult Classic NYC 42nd St

“The film is about two teenage runaways, Nicky Marotta (Robin Johnson) from a poor family and Pamela Pearl (Trini Alvarado) from a rich family, living in New York City. After escaping from a hospital (where they are being examined for mental illness), Nicky and Pamela link up with sympathetic disc jockey Johnny LaGuardia (Tim Curry). The two girls form an underground punk rock band, The Sleez Sisters, and become a hit with the city’s disillusioned youth after broadcasting their volatile songs and speeches on LaGuardia’s radio station. The climax of the film features all the fans of The Sleez Sisters congregating in the streets of New York’s Times Square for a rooftop concert.” –Wiki

The Trailer:

The Movie:



File under New York City History, Re¢e$$ion $pe¢iaL, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS ViDeO CLuB