Max Headroom

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Name: Max Headroom
Abbreviation(s): MH
Creator: Peter Wagg
Date(s): 1987-1988
Medium: Television
Country of Origin: US
External Links: wikipedia
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Max Headroom was a very brief a series that used science fiction to examine the role of the media in modern life.

a 1987/88 flyer for a fan campaign

The US series was a spinoff of a UK TV movie called Max Headroom: 20 Minutes Into the Future that aired in 1985. The TV movie, in turn, was created to provide a backstory for the animated character Max Headroom, who "hosted" a music video show and an interview show as well as being the spokesentity for the "New Coke" ad campaign. Look, it's complicated, OK?

Max Headroom Broadcast Signal Intrusion

On November 22, 1987, two Chicago TV stations had their programming interrupted by video footage of a man in a Max Headroom mask. The man spouted a bunch of nonsense before he mooned the viewers and was spanked by a flyswatter. [1]

The George R.R. Martin Connection

At least one unproduced script, "Theora's Tale", has surfaced, as have the titles of two other stories ("The Trial" and "Xmas"). George R. R. Martin wrote "Xmas", in pre-production at cancellation time. In 1992, Martin said:

Ideally, I think Koslow might have wanted to end [ Beauty and the Beast (TV) with a happy ending]. But the problem is we were a television show. We were an American television show broadcast in the late 80's, operating on American network television and it just doesn't work that way. Shows are not allowed to really have endings. Because a show that failed, that's getting bad ratings, is just ripped off the air when they least expect it. Like Max Headroom, for example. Just let me give that example because I was a little bit involved with that [show]. I had a script that was in pre-production for their Christmas show. They were actually shooting a show, they were halfway through a show when they got the order, "Nope, you're off the schedule, stop shooting immediately, move out of your offices... [2]

Tangles with Beauty and the Beast: The Starlog Coverage Controversy

Beauty and the Beast (TV) did not get boosted for several years in the for-profit zine, Starlog, due to a falling out between CBS-TPTB and the editors of that zine about their coverage of Max Headroom. When a fan in June 1990 asked Starlog why the magazine did not have more coverage of "Beauty and the Beast," the editor of "Starlog" wrote:

The scarcity of "Beauty & the Beast" articles for a while was due to the type of uncooperative publicists who deep-sixed our Max Headroom coverage some years back. Cooperation was slow in coming because "Why should STARLOG do any more articles on 'Beauty & the Beast'? Hasn't your magazine done enough?" In semi-patient frustration, we waited out this attitude -- eventually by landing interviews with Tony Jay (#148), Jay Acovone (#152), Edward Albert (#153), and Ron Koslow (#154). [3]

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