Kino Lorber Buys North American Rights to John Lennon and Yoko Doc ‘Daytime Revolution’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Kino Lorber has acquired North American rights to “Daytime Revolution,” a documentary about the week that John Lennon and Yoko Ono co-hosted “The Mike Douglas Show” in early 1972

Published Time: 08.05.2024 - 18:31:34 Modified Time: 08.05.2024 - 18:31:34

Kino Lorber has acquired North American rights to “Daytime Revolution,” a documentary about the week that John Lennon and Yoko Ono co-hosted “The Mike Douglas Show” in early 1972. Directed by Erik Nelson, with creative consultation from Ono and her son, Sean Ono Lennon, the doc uses archival footage from each of the five 70-minute shows as well as interviews with six surviving guests, including Ralph Nader, to tell the behind-the-scenes story of theses shows.

Kino Lorber will open “Daytime Revolution” theatrically later this year, followed by a home video, educational, and digital release on all major platforms.

“Erik Nelson has unearthed a fascinating and undeniably radical moment of cultural history with ‘Daytime Revolution,’ giving viewers incredible behind the scenes access to a week oftelevision that continues to resonate today,” says Wendy Lidell, Kino Lorber’s senior VP of theatrical distribution and acquisitions. “John and Yoko used this memorable week to appeal to the hearts and minds of their American audience, and we’re thrilled to revive their message with the release of this timely documentary.”

When Lennon and Ono hosted the Philadelphia-based talk show alongside Douglas, it was the most popular show on daytime television, seen by about 40 million people a week. The duo hosted the show just a few months after the release of their single “Happy Christmas (War Is Over).” Acting as both producers and hosts, Lennon and Ono handpicked their guests, including controversial choices such as Yippie founder Jerry Rubin and Black Panther chairman Bobby Seale, and counterculture comedian George Carlin. Their version of daytime TV was a radical take on the traditional format, incorporating candid Q&A sessions, conversations about current issues about controversial topics, including the empowerment of women, the deterioration of the environment, as well as police violence. The shows also featured musical acts, with Lennon performing alongside Chuck Berry as well as delivering a poignant rendition of “Imagine,” the now classic released the year prior.

“‘Daytime Revolution’ celebrates a time when anything was possible, when an extraordinary fusion of music, art and politics tried to save the soul of America for five straight afternoons o -

n a wildly popular mainstream talk show,” says Nelson, the director. “In a harrowing election year, when the future of America is up for grabs, John and Yoko’s prescient message should be heard now more than ever, and we’re looking forward to working with Kino Lorber to get the word out.”

The docu was authorized by Ono and her son Sean in February 2023. While Ono and Sean do not participate on camera, the duo approved and creatively consulted on the project.

“It’s become a cliche that Woodstock was the defining moment of the counterculture,” Nelson told Variety last year. “When I watched these broadcasts in their entirety, I realized that, in reality, this week in 1972, when John Lennon and Yoko Ono essentially hijacked the airwaves and presented the best minds and dreams of their generation to the widest possible mass audience of what was then called ‘Middle America,’ was as far as the counterculture would ever get. Not just music but a prescient blueprint for the future we now live in.”

Not everyone, especially the Nixon administration, was thrilled with the duo taking over as co-hosts of “The Mike Douglas Show.”

“We heard that on Feb. 4, just 10 days before these shows were about to air, Senator Strom Thurmond went to Attorney General John Mitchell and wanted to warn the Nixon administration that John and Yoko were about to take sides,” E.V. Di Massa, an associate producer on “The Mike Douglas Show” in 1972, told Variety.

Kino Lorber recently released “Remembering Gene Wilder” theatrically and last year acquired the U.S. rights to the 2023 Oscar nominated docu “Four Daughters.”

“Daytime Revolution” is produced by Amy Briamonte and executive produced by Bob Emmer and Jeffrey Peisch for Shout! Studios, Lynn Fero and Adam Licker for CBS Media Ventures, Di Massa and Clark Bunting, and Dave Harding for Creative Differences. Nelson is represented by UTA’s Travis Tammero.

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