NDTV on Cable

Author: Ed Cohen

Notre Dame students now have their own TV show.

NDTV, a biweekly half-hour magazine-format program, premiered last October on South Bend’s public access cable Channel 3. New shows debut every other Tuesday night at 10 with reruns the following two Thursdays at 5 p.m.

As in most cities, programming on South Bend community access is typified by poor picture quality, irritating sound and a succession of people reading Bible verses into the camera. “One of our first episodes was pre-empted by a spelling bee,” says junior Lance Johnson, one of NDTV’s four student executive producers.

Johnson and team think their show is at least a step up from the competition. The program consists mostly of five-minute segments: campus news, interviews, features and miscellany like man-on-the-street polls. The first episode included an interview with Coach Tyrone Willingham and an in-depth look at how the marching band prepares for a game. A more recent feature focused on fake IDs. Lighter offerings from the program’s miscellaneous category have included “Joe Athlete,” a planned four-part parody of the Fox show Joe Millionaire.

NDTV started last spring as an idea that a group of students in Basics of Film and Television proposed to their instructor, Christine Becker, assistant professor. She became the group’s first adviser.

So far about 20 to 25 students have been regularly involved with the production, says Johnson, who is majoring in both film, television and theatre (FTT) and finance and hopes to become a movie producer. About half of NDTV’s participants are from FTT, he says. The rest are simply interested in television.