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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ron Howard
Produced by Ron Howard
Brian Grazer
Written by Lowell Ganz
Babaloo Mandel
Starring Matthew McConaughey
Jenna Elfman
Woody Harrelson
Elizabeth Hurley
Rob Reiner
Dennis Hopper
Ellen DeGeneres
Music by Bon Jovi
Cinematography John Schwartzman
Editing by Daniel P. Hanley
Mike Hill
Studio Imagine Entertainment
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) March 26, 1999
Running time 122 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $80,000,000[1]

EDtv is a comedy film directed by Ron Howard released in 1999. An adaptation of the French Canadian movie Louis 19, le roi des ondes (1994), it stars Matthew McConaughey, Jenna Elfman, Woody Harrelson, Ellen DeGeneres, Martin Landau, Rob Reiner, Sally Kirkland, Elizabeth Hurley, Clint Howard and Dennis Hopper.

Its plot has been called superficially similar to that of The Truman Show, especially since the two hit theatres nearly around the same time. The differences come from the fact that unlike Truman, Ed (McConaughey) has knowledge and has given consent that his life is a reality television show.

The film was screened out of competition at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival.[1]



EDtv starts off with the television channel True TV commencing interviews for a TV show that shows a normal person's life 24/7. This idea was thought up by a TV producer named Cynthia (Ellen DeGeneres). They interview Ed (Matthew McConaughey) and his brother Ray (Woody Harrelson). When the producers see the interview Cynthia decides to use Ed and interviews only Ed. So now they start airing the show, which they call Ed TV. The show is a total failure at first, as only boring things happen and the main producers want to pull the plug, except for Cynthia.

However, Ed TV suddenly gets interesting on Day 3 when Ed visits his brother Ray. Ed (along with the cameramen) discovers that Ray is cheating on his girlfriend Shari (Jenna Elfman). Ed then visits Shari to apologize to her for Ray's actions. Shari is very drunk and starts insulting Ray, by talking to the camera. She makes everyone laugh or go "ohhh!!" by saying "Ray was a BAD lay." Ed tries to comfort Shari, and he reveals he has feelings for her. She then reveals she has feelings for Ed as well. They slowly move their faces closer and finally kiss each other. Ed then locks out the camera crew and proceeds to passionately kiss Shari for a while. Ed TV suddenly becomes extremely popular.

Ed then goes on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and meets beautiful model/actress Jill (Elizabeth Hurley) who takes a liking to Ed. Ed then visits Shari and she tells Ed that she doesn't want to be with him until the Show stops airing. She then leaves town.

Ed goes to the park with Ray and some friends to play football when Jill comes to talk to him, because Cynthia brought her in to earn more ratings. She invites Ed to dinner at her house. When he arrives at Jill's house, there is a massive crowd. They have a small talk, and then they kiss on top of a table. They are about to have sex, but then Ed falls off the table and squishes Jill's cat. Ed never sees Jill again.

Ed's father (Dennis Hopper), who abandoned his family when Ed was 13, unexpectedly visits Ed and informs him that he left because Ed's mother was having an affair with Ed's current stepfather, Al. Ed is furious with his mother and argues with her.

Next, Ed gets a phone call telling him to come to the hospital. The doctor says that his father is dead and that he died making love to his wife. Ed thinks this means Al, but it actually is his real father and that Ed's mother was cheating on Al.

After the funeral, Ed becomes disheartened by the fact that the producers want him to stay on longer and that he can't do anything to change their minds or he would be in breach of his contract. Ed is depressed until he catches a glimpse of Shari (in disguise wearing a wig and sunglasses). He chases her for a long time until she stops in the women's bathroom in a movie theater. She says she is staying with her brother as it is his birthday and she just wanted to see Ed. But she doesn't want to be with him until the show stops. When Ed exits one camera man stays with Shari saying that it's the producers' new idea. The main camera man tells him that all his family are being filmed but they show the most interesting person.

Ed gets an idea on how to stop the main producer from showing the show: he says that he will give $10,000 to the person who can give him the best amount of "dirt" on the producers and that he will announce it live, with the desired result being they stop airing the show before he can make the announcement. As Cynthia feels sorry for Ed, she tells him a secret of the main producer. Ed announces the secret (that the man has to pump a liquid into his penis to get an erection) but before he can announce who it is they stop airing the show.


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