6 user 9 critic

The Ratings Game (1984)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Romance | TV Movie 15 December 1984
A newly rich New Jersey trucker moves to Hollywood and creates a slew of hit TV shows by manipulating the ratings system with help from his girlfriend in the ratings business.


Danny DeVito
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Danny DeVito ... Vic DeSalvo
Rhea Perlman ... Francine Kester
Gerrit Graham ... Parker Braithwaite
Bernadette Birkett ... Mrs. Sweeney
Barry Corbin ... The Colonel
Louis Giambalvo ... Goody DeSalvo
Ronny Graham ... Cap'n Andy
Huntz Hall ... Benny Bentson
Basil Hoffman ... Frank Friedlander
Kevin McCarthy ... Wes Vandergelder
John Megna ... Al
Michael Richards ... Sal
Ron Rifkin ... T.V. Director
Joe Santos ... Tony
Vincent Schiavelli ... Skip Imperiali


Vic De Salvo, a sympatic mafioso, manipulates with the help of Francine, a girl working for the TV audience controler, the data of the audience watching his program of a small channel. Thus he converts himself into a star of the TV screen. Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


A TV movie made for the Showtime/Movie Channel network. See more »


Francine Kester: What a place you've got here.
Vic De Salvo: Yeah.
Francine Kester: You're not an Arab, so you must be a drug dealer.
See more »


References I Love Lucy (1951) See more »


Theme from 'The Goombas'
Music and Lyrics by Bruce Kimmel
Performed by Dan Navarro
See more »

User Reviews

JUST OKAY - (6 stars out of 10)
7 March 2021 | by Front-Row-ReviewsSee all my reviews

The stage curtains open ...

I stumbled across this one the other night and decided to give it a go. For a 1984 made-for-cable-tv movie, it wasn't half bad. I researched this one a little bit and found out that not only was it Danny DeVito's directorial debut, it was also the first original movie produced by Showtime. DeVito also starred, and starring along with him, was his real-life wife of two years, Rhea Perlman.

Vic DeSalvo (DeVito) has aspirations of making it big in Hollywood. He has written the script for what he believes will be a knock out winning sitcom called, "Sittin' Pretty" - where a college boy gets to room with two blonde bombshells while they are at school. However, the pilot show went so horribly bad, that the station director decides to run his show in the same time slot as the World Series so that it has no shot of becoming a regular on-the-air show. DeSalvo's new squeeze, Francine Kester (Perlman), works with a ratings agency and shows him how to beat the system.

This was a fun and clever comedy film with a good enough plot and acting to keep you engaged and smiling. It is made-for-tv, so the production value isn't anything spectacular, but it was good for its time. DeVito and Perlman showed great chemistry, no doubt a roll over from their marriage to each other, and were characters you can grow to care about. This was only maybe the 2nd movie I've seen them in together, besides "Matilda", and they were very enjoyable.

This isn't a big recommend, but I would still recommend it to anyone who needs a nice little escape to yesteryear with a fun little comedy long forgotten. Like I said, I found it by accident and I'm glad I took a chance on it. Worth the time spent. It gets a strong 6 stars out of 10 from me.

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Release Date:

15 December 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

T.V. - Total verrückt See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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