Cable TV Fascism

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"The Unbearable Fascism of Cable Television"
Queen of the Willis episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 20
Directed by Holly Everman
Written by Ava Zinn
Production code 401
Original air date May 1, 2009
Guest actors

see article

Episode chronology
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Cable TV Fascism, also known as The Unbearable Fascism of Cable Television is the 20th episode of the third season of Queen of the Willis. It was first aired on May 1, 2009. The episode was written by Ava Zinn, and directed by Holly Everman.


Lando Abhrams and Addison Ellisong are trying to woo New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago investors at Sweetheart's. When the yuppies noticed the satellite television content and outdoor antennas over 40 feet, they start making fun of the city of Quillsville just as a Quillsville Cable TV has yet to reach a carriage agreement between then-CBS affiliate WIBC-TV 8 (now CW affiliate) and My 10.

The Quillsville-Quill County Council bans the sale and installation of satellite and outdoor antennas, and as a result Sweetheart's Restaurant goes out of business as well channels 8 and 10 off the Quillsville Cable TV system; therefore Quillsvillians are without many Indiana Colts games. Ava, who feels the ban is an infringement on her freedom, encourages Tina Craven to fix things. Craven's solution to the problem is to sell her delicious foods on a lunch truck/recreational vehicle so she can evade the law and give freedom to the people of Quillsville. Bribery and police corruption (particularly from Tiffani Donovan and Officer Dailey ensue, and Ava begins to have second thoughts about her activism to repeal the ban, particularly when Tom and Deanna gets ideas that they can pick and choose which rules they wants to follow.

But before Ava can back out, a rival competitor, revelaed to be none other than Mayor Kelso, terrorizes the Sweetheart's truck, and a turf war develops. The fierce competition convinces Ava to stay on board with Sweetheart's until they can shut down the competition. With Stephanie's help, Ava puts her best investigative skills to the test and becomes determined to unearth evidence to bring the competition down. When the Sweetheart's Express started, Ava demanded all employees follow basic health guidelines, such as wearing hair nets, no smoking on duty and washing their hands before starting work.

This would prove crucial, as it is later revealed that Kelso's customers are getting violently ill, which is not seen in customers of the Sweetheart's Express. Through a Channel 24 expose, it is shown that Mayor Kelso runs a filthy operation. Ava finally seeks to lawfully repeal the ban pointing out three factors to the Quillsville-Quill County Council. 1.) Prohibiting something by law does not mean every single person is going to stop using it, as evidenced by the now black market in satelite and over-the-air television. 2.) If a prior lawful trade is driven underground it will attract the likes of those who could care less about preparing the right way, as evidenced by Kelso's disgusting service. 3.) It is the responsibility of the individual to regulate himself/herself as to whether or not he/she ought to subscribe to cable or satelite, not having government act like a nanny state. Realizing that sometimes Quillsville just needs good teleivison providers, even if it is not ideal, and also that the satellite and antenna ban was causing plenty of community problems, the Quillsville-Quill County Council accepts Ava's proposal to overturn the ban, especially since members of the Council faced the prospect of being outed on the air for patronizing the RV's, as documented by Stephanie Rose on videotape. In the end of the episode, Sweetheart's Restaurant reopens, where the Willis' are shown eating dinner, and Ava telling Tom and Deanna that the Indiana Colts game is so good in 1080i since over-the-air antenna is used, and you're not breaking the rules to watch it. Angie then tries to tell Ava to skip out on the check, which Ava refuses to do.


Ava Zinn wrote the episode and based the episode on the real-life dispute and repercussions that soon followed.

The Unbearable Fascism of Cable Television is the 20th episode of the third season of Queen of the Willis. It was directed by Holly Everman, while Robyn Hurd and Amanda Bearse acted as supervising directors.[1] It was written by series creator Ava Zinn. She wrote the episode based on the real-life WISH-TV/Bright House debacle she dealt in Marion, Indiana at the time, and eventially lead to her move from Marion to Fort Wayne.

The episode introduced Officer Dailey, voiced by Frank Davidson, Quillsville Police Department, and Quillsville-Quill County Council. Officer Dailey, members of the Quillsville Police Department and Quillsville-Quill County Council would become recurring characters of the series appearing in future episodes including "The Rape of Heather Willis" and Quillsville Under Siege.

Cultural references [edit]

  • This epsiode is inspired by the real-life WISH-TV/Bright House dispute that lasted from October 3 to October 29, 2008. WISH-TV was the CBS affiliate in Indanapolis at the time before switching affiliations with CW affiliate WTTV on January 1, 2015. On September 15, 2008, WISH-TV's owner, LIN TV of Providence and Time Warner Cable entered into an impasse during negotiations to renew retransmission consent deals for some of the group's television stations. Bright House Networks, one of two major cable providers serving Indianapolis, negotiates retransmission consent contracts through Time Warner Cable. LIN TV requested compensation for carriage of its stations in a manner similar to the deals that cable networks have with pay television providers, as other broadcast station owners began to seek compensation from cable and satellite providers for their programming. The carriage agreement with Bright House expired on October 2, 2008.[2] By 12:35 a.m. on October 3, LIN's television stations were replaced on Time Warner Cable systems in markets where the group owns stations and where either provider operates systems with programming from other cable channels. LIN's stations were restored 26 days later on October 29 through a new carriage agreement reached between Time Warner Cable and LIN TV. WISH-TV's long time sister station in Fort Wayne WANE-TV was restored to Time Warner Cable in Northwest Ohio. However, WANE-TV did not reappear on Bright House Networks systems in Grant County, Indiana (of which series creator Ava Zinn was a subscriber of Bright House at the time)[3], and eventually was one of the major factors of Zinn relocating to Fort Wayne on May 14, 2018 (nine years after this episode aired).
  • The regular Queen of the Willis opening sequence is replaced with a spoof of the opening sequence of Law & Order. Steven Zirnkilton was asked to provde the narration, but declined the offer so Ava Zinn performed the opening narration about "two separate yet equally important types of shows" instead.
  • Mallory and Little Nikki make reappearances in this episode. Both characters were last seen in "No Transphobias in Quillsville" and Death Picks Craven (Part 1). They would reappear after season 7.



  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named yah
  3. WISH-TV and WNDY returns (but not WANE) to Bright House Marion Chronicle-Tribune

External links[edit]