EDtv (1999) - Rotten Tomatoes


EDtv (1999)



Critic Consensus: If it's not as ambitious as The Truman Show in satirizing the voyeuristic nature of television, EdTV is an amiable, witty comedy with fine performances from Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.

EDtv Photos

Movie Info

The turning point in the life of Ed Pekurny (Matthew McConaughey) comes thanks to the misfortunes of the NorthWest Broadcasting Company. After two years on the air, their flagship cable channel, True TV, has slid into obscurity due to competition from the The Gardening Channel. Program director Cynthia Topping (Ellen DeGeneres) brainstorms a last ditch effort to save the channel: broadcast one ordinary person's life 24 hours a day, unedited (while he sleeps, the day's highlights will be shown). When the network agrees to the idea, Topping must find the subject of her program. After endless auditions, she lucks upon Ed, a goofy but good-looking video store clerk. Ed has little time to get used to his new shadow, a three man video crew, before the show becomes a hit. Suddenly Ed's a cultural icon with fan clubs, stalkers, and imitators, but the media saturation has it's effects on his friends and family, who are now part of the program. Ed alienates his proud brother, Ray (Woody Harrelson), by falling in love with his girlfriend, Shari (Jenna Elfman). His estranged father Hank (Dennis Hopper) reappears after abandoning the family and creates tension between Ed and Ray's mother, Jeanette (Sally Kirkland) and her wheelchair-bound second husband, Al (Martin Landau). When Ed realizes the phenomenon has turned on him, he convinces Topping to stop the ordeal, but not her boss, Whitaker (Rob Reiner). To regain his life, Ed must find a way to cancel EDtv.

Watch it now


Rob Reiner
as Whitaker
Jenna Byrne
as Felicia
Merrill Markoe
as Panel Member
Merrin Dungey
as Ms. Seaver
Ian Gomez
as McIlvaine
Arianna Huffington
as Panel Member
Scott LaRose
as Desipio
Mitzi McCall
as Fig Lady
Jim Meskimen
as Dr. Geller
Don Most
as Benson
as Himself
Steve Kehela
as Reporter
Googy Gress
as Reporter
Anthony Jensen
as Party Goer
Brian Michael Erlich
as Video Store Clerk
Marcus J. Oliver
as Video Store Clerk
Sam Rubin
as Entertainment Reporter
Barry Wiggins
as Sports Anchor
Eric Shinn
as Camera Truck Tech Driver
Jeffrey Schecter
as 1st Team Utility
Michael Esposito
as Camera Operator--1st Team
Connie Campbell-Gott
as Camera Operator--2nd Team
Louie Mejia
as Camera Operator--2nd Team
Crystall Carmen
as 2nd Team Utility
Matt Morrissey
as Director--2nd Team
Marilyn Pittman
as Woman in Window
Sommer Saor
as College Girl
Jennifer Elise Cox
as College Girl
Alexandra Holden
as College Girl
Mark Wheeler
as Bartender
Harry Shearer
as Moderator
Michael Moore
as Panel Member
George Plimpton
as Panel Member
Geoff Bolt
as Drunk Guy
Ezra Stanley
as Teenager
Anna Karin
as Snapple Girl
Todd Hallowell
as Interviewer
Cyndi Pass
as Cassie
Jen Moe
as Girl
Todd Krainin
as Younger Man
Zeidy Martinez
as Interview Teenager
Azura Skye
as Interview Teenager
Daisy Clarke
as Interview Teenager
Lombardo Boyar
as New York Guy
Rainbow Borden
as New York Guy
David Quane
as New York Guy
Christian Kane
as Production Assistant
Gina Hecht
as Party Girl
Cheryl Howard
as Party Girl
Louise Marie
as Party Girl
Mike Grief
as Repairman
Jason Kim
as Frat Guy
Dublin James
as Frat Guy
T.J. Thyne
as Frat Guy
Laurel Moglen
as Underwater Woman
Wade Robson
as Teenage Boy
Sy Hearn
as Teenage Boy
Nathan Paul
as Teenage Boy
Bob Sarlatte
as Motorcycle Cop
Roberta Callahan
as Cat Advocate
William Bagnell
as Presidential Aide
Jay Leno
as Himself
Julie Rose Stevens
as Ken Groupie
Mel Berger
as Confused Man
Diane Amos
as Autograph Mom
James Brooks
as Delivery Man
Luke Estekyn
as Band Member
Mark Mraking
as Ed's Fan
Tom Turpel
as Ed's Fan
Sun St. Pierre
as Female Well-Wisher
Roger L. Jackson
as Mama's Boy
Julie Donatt
as Reporter
Thomas Barg
as Boom Box Boy
Curtis Davis
as Whoop Boy
Willam Dance
as Beauty Salon Owner
Sonia Bhalla
as Ticket Taker
Jordan Harrelson
as Audition Guy
Tony Harras
as Warehouse Worker
Vince Lozano
as Warehouse Worker
Rolando Molina
as Warehouse Worker
Alberto Vazquez
as Grave Digger
Lydee Walsh
as College Girl
Veronica Moody
as College Girl
View All

Critic Reviews for EDtv

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (10)

You'll have a good time watching "EDtv"-- Howard is always at his best in comic mode, and he gives the film a cleverly cluttered look that suggests the experience of watching reality on multiple monitors.

March 2, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

After it's over, we've laughed some, smiled a little and cared not really very much.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Comic satire of reality TV; lots of dysfunction, sexuality.

February 3, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

...a fine premise that's utilized to progressively underwhelming effect...

November 6, 2014 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

EdTV isn't bad enough to get angry about, but it's a mundane and toothless satire.

July 30, 2007 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Diverting but ultimately toothless and innocuous.

June 13, 2002 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for EDtv

Mediocre film that could have been good, for me, EdTV reminds me way too much of The Truman Show. This is one of the most mediocre films that Ron Howard has directed. The film has its moments, but due to a poorly thought out script, it just doesn't have anything going for it. With EdTV, you can see a director starting to lose his touch. Although, he redeemed himself with A Beautiful Mind and Cinderella Man, Ron Howard is hit and misses, and with this one, he shows signs of that. The cast were so-so. Matthew McConauhey who I find to be a decent actor wasn't good here, and Jenna Elfman was horrible. This could have been a great film, but it just ends up missing something to really make it worth seeing. This is not a memorable film. Were the film fails is the fact I felt it went all over the place in some areas. Towards the end, the film didn't what it was trying to accomplish. I thought that Ron Howard could have done a better job at directing. The film just ends up being boring, and uninteresting. This had the potential of being a great flick, but due to a poor script, it never really takes off. Nowadays with Reality TV boom, it might have worked, and actually, it would have been a better film, today because there so many stupid Reality TV shows to mock and to take inspiration from. The film has minor laughs, but unfortunately it only shows its wasted potential here, and I think it's a shame. This film could have been a great parody of Reality TV.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

When you read the overview of "EdTV," you might think that it's similar to "The Truman Show." But it's not, in my opinion, it's better. The difference is that in "EdTV," Matthew McConaughey volunteers to have his life broadcast on television 24 hours a day for the next month. After Ed gets with his brother's ex-girlfriend and the cameras get in the way of his life, he must find a way to get out of the camera's view. But that will be a lot easier said than done. Unlike you might expect it to be, "EdTV" is hilarious and it will keep you interested during the whole movie. The funniest part of the movie is when you find out how Ed will get his life off the television screen for good. If you like good comedy movies that have a great storyline, I recommend getting "EdTV" today. NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2000. This is like a Truman Show ripoff (or was it vice versa?), but I don't care, I like this one better.

Jason Owens
Jason Owens

Super Reviewer


I guess this movie is OK. I can't imagine anybody suggesting that watching one person's life would make good TV, but of course, the movie presents us with the highpoints of Ed's life - his relationship with his girlfriend and family.

Red Lats
Red Lats

Super Reviewer

EDtv Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features