As in many other countries across the globe, Televisions began to pop up in households the Soviet Union as well. One of the most popular television shows in Russia until 1973, when it was cancelled, was KVN (KVN Cancelled). KVN is the russian acronym for Club of the Merry and Resourceful (KVN Cancelled). KVN was a type of gameshow, where teams from the Soviet Union’s many universities competed against one another in humor, knowledge, and improvisation in front of celebrity judges (KVN Cancelled). Successful teams became household names (“KVN Cancelled”).
As shows like KVN became more popular, so did the popularity of Televisions. Between 1965 and 1970 Soviet households went from having one TV per four families to one TV per two families (KVN Cancelled). However, like everything else in the Soviet economy, the economy could not keep up with the demand for TVs. In 1973, the government had ordered 7,500 Rainbow-703 color televisions, but by May of 1973 the first quarters quotas had not been met for any province (“Why has the Rainbow Disappeared”). The Government said the slow progress was due to an upgrade from the Rainbow-702 to the Rainbow-703 (“Why has the Rainbow Disappeared?”). The question everyone asked salesmen was, “Where are the Rainbows?” (“Why has the rainbow disappeared?”).
As if failing to provide color televisions wasn’t enough, the government cancelled KVN in 1973. The government believed that the show was catering too much to the elite, since teams were made of university students, and were omitting the working class (“KVN Cancelled”). A.V. Men’shikov, a player on KVN, wrote later about a time the producers, because of pressure from the government, brought in a female team of competitors from a textile mill in order to appease to the working class (“Past Thoughts”). The regular players crushed the opponents, making it clear that KVN could not support the working class (“KVN Cancelled”). So, like every thing else in the Soviet Union, the government failed at television because of over regulation and over censorship.
“Why has the Rainbow Disappeared?”: http://dlib.eastview.com/browse/doc/13643260