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(1979–1981)

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Summaries

  • WHAT'S UP AMERICA, (no ? mark) was one of the earliest forays into reality TV (even pre-dating George Schlatter's REAL PEOPLE). It aired on Showtime cable from 1979-1981 and took a non-judgmental yet no-holds-barred look at some of the strangest aspects of American subculture. Everything from serpent handling cults in Tennessee to Bondage parties in Southern California to Voodoo in New Orleans. The WUA crews went in with eyes wide open, won the trust of their subjects, and came back to the editing room with amazingly candid footage. The hour-long show averaged 4-6 segments per episode with a new show airing each month. The show and its segments were introduced by a hostess (first, Deborah Harmon and later Jessie Logan) but once the segment got rolling there was very little narration and the subjects spoke for themselves.


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