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America's Funniest Home Videos (often simply abbreviated to AFV, though it was previously AFHV) is an Americanmarker reality television program on ABC in which viewers are able to send in humorous homemade videotapes. The most common videos usually feature slapstick physical comedy arising from accidents and mishaps. Other popular videos include humorous situations involving pets or children, while some are staged practical jokes and various forms of act. The show is based on the Japanese show Fun TV with Kato-chan and Ken-chan (aired on Tokyo Broadcasting Systemmarker).

It was announced on April 23, 2009 that AFV had been renewed with its 20th season which began on October 4, 2009.

For autumn 2008, AFV commands an average cost of $90,044 for a 30-second commercial, according to an Advertising Age survey of media-buying firms.

Synopsis

Executive produced by Vin Di Bona, with co-executive producers Todd Thicke and Michele Nasraway, it is currently the second longest-running entertainment program on ABC. It is based on the Tokyo Broadcasting Systemmarker show Fun TV with Kato-chan and Ken-chan, which featured a segment in which viewers were invited to send in video clips from their home movies. The format has since been reproduced around the world, and AFHV-inspired TV specials and series continue to emerge periodically in the United States. American television series inspired by AFV's format include The Planet's Funniest Animals, The World's Funniest! and World's Funniest Moments; however, most of the series inspired by AFV (except for The Planet's Funniest Animals) have not matched the success of America's Funniest Home Videos and have not lasted as long.

Many videos are range from a few to a couple of seconds and are mostly related to the host's monologues. Videos usually feature people and animals getting into humorous to dangerous accidents caught on camera. Other videos would have people staging acts specifically for the show by presenting their acts, which is based on the spin-off America's Funniest People.

Every week, three videos are chosen by the producers and voted on by the studio audience. The winner wins US$10,000, and is in the running for the $100,000 prize at the end of the season, while the runner-up receives $3,000, and third place banks $2,000. Very early in the show's run, the second and third prizes were a new TV and a new VCR, respectively. On the initial hour-long special, the grand prize was $5,000 with second and third places winning a new camcorder; the producer picked the winner, with no audience voting. Periodically beginning with the Tom Bergeron run of the series, the $100,000 winner at each season's final $100,000 contest will also win a free vacation package, supplied by either Adventures by Disney or Disney Vacation Club, in addition to the monetary prize.

Beginning about the middle of the first season, the show featured the "Assignment America" segment; which called for a series of videos to be made pertaining to a specific theme. Also, Saget's era produced a memorable segment called "Freeze Frame" which was a montage of videos with the song "Freeze Frame" played by The J. Geils Band. The show was so successful in its first year that in 1990, it spawned a spin-off titled America's Funniest People, which ran until 1994. Another short-lived spinoff was created in 1995 with World’s Funniest Videos, which was cancelled after its freshman season.

Many of the clips have been used internationally in various comedy compilation programs, with changes such as dubbing and subtitling. The title of the show is usually changed and the studio segments are omitted.

According to the closing credits, most of the videos have been edited for length reasons. In addition according to the contest plugs, family members (both immediate or relatives) of employees of ABC, Inc., its corporate parent The Walt Disney Company and their related subsidiaries are ineligible for the show's contests and prizes.

Ratings

AFV finished the 1989/1990 season in the top-ten watched shows, with an approximate average of 38.0 million viewers for each episode.

Season 20 US ratings

Order Episode Rating Share Rating/Share

(18-49)
Viewers

(millions)
Rank

(Timeslot)
Rank

(Night)
1 "Episode 2001" 4.5 8 2.2/6 7.98 4 17
2 "Episode 2002" TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
3 "Episode 2003" TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA


History

Bob Saget (1989–1997)

The show debuted on November 26, 1989 as an hour-long special, produced by Vin Di Bona and Steve Paskay, and later as a weekly half-hour primetime series on January 14, 1990, with actor/comedian Bob Saget (then starring in the ABC sitcom Full House) as host and Ernie Anderson as announcer. Once Anderson became too ill to continue, Gary Owens took over as announcer in 1995. Saget co-hosted the special with actress Kellie Martin, then the star of Life Goes On, which would be the lead-in show to AFHV in its early seasons. From the premiere of the show until the start of season 5, it aired Sunday nights at 8:00PM/ET. Beginning in season 5, the show started Sunday primetime, airing at 7:00PM/ET, followed by America's Funniest People (co-hosted by Saget's Full House co-star Dave Coulier) at 7:30PM/ET as part of a videos hour. In Season 5, Bob Saget introduced an animated sidekick named "Stretchy McGillicuddy", who was known for trying to tease Bob and other crazy things. He was dropped at the end of Season 7. Saget always ended each episode with the phrase "Keep those cameras safely rolling", and saying something to his wife who was watching the show.

Johnny Carson made both the show and Saget regular targets of his monologues on The Tonight Show. The jokes generally centered on something like a new title for the show, such as "'Fluffy Falls into the Food Processor,' hosted by Bob 'Where's My Career' Saget".

In 1994, ABC cancelled America's Funniest People and had to decide what to do with the Sunday night 7:30PM/ET slot now vacant. They expanded Saget to one hour, first showing that week's new episode for the first half-hour and then showing a repeat from a previous season to fill the remaining time. Usually if a $100,000 show was that week's new episode, a regular episode would be shown afterwards and vice versa but it wasn't uncommon if the new and rerun episodes were regular. By the fall of 1995, another spinoff of AFV was developed called World's Funniest Videos, again hosted by Coulier, along with Eva LaRue, which lasted only one season.

Saget soon grew tired of the repetitive format and was eager to pursue other projects as an actor and director . Producer Di Bona held him to his contract, resulting in a frustrated Saget listlessly going through the motions and making pointed remarks on the air during his last two seasons. His contract expired in 1997, and Saget left the show.

Saget has agreed to return to America's Funniest Home Videos for a 20th anniversary special edition of the series, which will air on November 29, 2009. Saget will co-host the episode with current host Tom Bergeron.

Daisy Fuentes and John Fugelsang (1998–1999)

Bob Saget left the show after eight seasons in 1997, but the show returned on January 9, 1998, with new hosts, model Daisy Fuentes and stand-up comedian John Fugelsang, as well as a completely new look and feel. With the Sunday night 7:00PM/ET slot now occupied by Disney films aired as part of The Wonderful World of Disney, the show occupied constantly changing slots, from Monday nights to Thursday nights to Saturday nights. The ratings for the show suffered during this period, and in 1999 both hosts left the show after two seasons. This version was known for audio problems in the recordings. During this period, the show introduced a segment called "Good News, Bad News," which shows a video of an accident then the host makes a humorous statement about the upside of what happened; this segment continued until the first year of Tom Bergeron's current stint as host.

It was during this season that the current logos, graphics and arrangement of the show's theme music began being used (though the graphics were changed from a blue to a yellow background in 2004), and current announcer Jess Harnell was introduced. The show also began to be alternately called AFV at this point (and ABC network promos later also began to call the show America's Funniest Videos), despite the fact the show was still officially titled America's Funniest Home Videos.

After that one season, ABC discontinued America's Funniest Home Videos as a regular weekly series, but returned the show occasionally as a series of specials hosted by various ABC sitcom stars such as D.L. Hughley of The Hughleys and Richard Kind of Spin City; a special sports version of the show that continues to be re-shown every New Year's Day, and until 2008 aired occasionally before NBA playoff games with a post 8:30PM/ET tip-off, was hosted by ESPN anchor Stuart Scott.

Tom Bergeron (2001–present)

On July 20, 2001, the show returned again in its third format, this time with new host Tom Bergeron. By this point, the show was expanded to a full hour-long episode, instead of being aired as two half-hour episodes. The show was now being seen on Friday nights at 8:00PM/ET; however, it went off the air for several months due in part to the September 11 attacks and in part to ABC airing specials and trying a new Friday night line-up. The new Friday night line-up was short-lived, and the show returned in December 2001 or January 2002.

In September of 2003, the show returned to the timeslot of Sunday nights at 7:00PM/ET, still an hour long. Unlike Saget, who provided voiceovers to the clips, Bergeron humorously narrates them. The Bergeron version added new segments, such as "Tom's Home Movies," where his face is digitally superimposed over the faces on the videos, "Head, Gut or Groin," where Tom picks two members of the studio audience to guess whether the person in the video will be hit in the aforementioned three places in order to win an America's Funniest Home Videos compilation DVD, and the "slo-mo gizmo", where a video is played first at normal speed and then again at a slower speed and telestrated. Bergeron always ends each episode with the phrase "If you can get it on tape, you could get it in cash".

Starting with the 2005-06 season, the series began allowing viewers to upload their funny home videos online at ABC.com, in addition to sending their videos via standard mail.

$100,000 contest

Near the end of each season, the $10,000 winners from selected episodes are brought back to participate in a contest called to win an additional $100,000. Three $100,000 contests air each season, though only one aired in the first season.

Voting

  • Saget version: ABC stations (five in the first season, three from 1990 to 1993, and two from 1993 onward) around the country were joined via satellite to cast their votes along with the Los Angeles audience. (The final $100,000 show of Season 2 was decided by a telephone vote)
  • Fuentes/Fugelsang version (1998-2000): Only the Los Angeles audience voted.
  • Bergeron version (2001-present): Viewers log onto abc.com to cast their votes with the LA audience.


List of satellite cities on the $100,000 show



Other contests

  • 2002 "Battle of the Best": The Quad Squad ($25,000 and trip to Maui)
  • 2006: Dancing Machine ($100,000 and free vacations to 500+ places for 48 years)
  • "Funniest Video of All-Time": The Quad Squad ($250,000)
  • 2009: Birthday Blowout ($100,000 and free vacations to 500+ places for 50 years)


Theme songs

The long-running theme was "The Funny Things You Do", performed by ABC's recording artist and ABC's in-house talent, Jill Colucci, and written by Colucci and Stewart Harris. At the time of AFHV's premiere, Colucci was in the midst of performing her vocals on the network's image campaigns, the last two years of the slogan Something's Happening (1988 and '89), and the first year only of America's Watching ABC (1990). Colucci herself occasionally made guest or cameo appearances when referred to by Saget, and even began singing the theme in person in one opening segment. "The Funny Things You Do" accompanied the opening and closing credits for eight seasons.

At the start of the 1996-97 season (the final year with Saget as host), the theme was revamped featuring new vocals, a boy and girl duet, performed by Peter Hix and Terry Wood. The new version was also in a different key than the original. When AFHV returned in January 1998, with Fuentes & Fugelsang and a completely new look, the current arrangement of the theme song made its debut. Since that time, the theme has been an instrumental, composed by Dan Slider, with a faster, ska/reggae beat, with the original key (of the 1989 version) restored, making it sound similar to "The Impression That I Get" by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

During the Saget era, the theme song also was tied in with a skit just before the transition was made from the introduction to Saget. This usually consisted of several actors in a fake room pretending to get excited watching America's Funniest Home Videos. This technique was scrapped at the end of Season 5. There was even one episode in Season 2 where Bob Saget was trapped in the room at the very beginning of the episode before Ernie Anderson announced his name and after trying to use a telephone to call for help. He used a broken plastic spoon to cut through the fabric separating the "room" from the audience in order to leave it.

"The Funny Things You Do" was the theme song to the Australian version between 1991 and 2004. "The Funny Things You Do" was replaced by an instrumental version as part of the 2005 major revamp.

Syndication

All episodes of AFV are currently in syndication, though all of the seasons of the series have never been syndicated together; instead, the Saget, Fugelsang-Fuentes, and Bergeron runs have each been syndicated separately. Repeats of the show aired on TBS from October 2, 1995-1998, USA Network from 1998-2001, and the Hallmark Channel from August 5, 2001-2003. Until 2001, the Saget version was syndicated by 20th Television, who assumed syndication rights from their purchase of MTM Enterprises, which had syndicated the show from 1995-1998.

Currently, Disney-ABC Domestic Television distributes all versions of the series. However, the 1989-1994 Bob Saget episodes are aired only in off-network syndication, including PAX TV (now Ion Television) every Monday through Thursday night (later Monday through Friday night) from 2003–2005, and Nick at Nite for a short time from April to October 2007. Also, when Nick at Nite began airing the early Saget episodes the first week the show aired, every $100,000 Grand Prize show was aired to commemorate the show joining Nick at Nite. Also when Nick at Nite aired the show, they replaced the old contest plugs done during the Saget era with the current contest plug in order for viewers not to see the outdated contest plugs, though it is not known if they cut out the old contest plugs if the Saget versions were syndicated on other cable channels. Airings of the show on PAX TV and Nick at Nite cut the Saget interviews with the winners, likely due to time constraints because of the longer ad breaks that were not seen on U.S. broadcast television during the period the episodes originally aired on ABC. For unknown reasons, the 1989-94 Saget episodes, the 1994-1997 Saget episodes, nor the 1998-1999 Fugelsang/Fuentes episodes of AFV have aired in off-network syndication.

The 1998–1999 Fugelsang/Fuentes episodes aired on ABC Family starting in the fall of 1998, when the network was under News Corporation ownership and named Fox Family, until the fall of 2003. The 1994–1997 Saget episodes aired on that network also from autumn of 2003 to 2007, usually on Monday through Saturday, and occasionally on Sunday nights if a movie was not shown. The Tom Bergeron episodes began airing on ABC Family on October 1, 2007, and are shown usually 5–6 nights a week (with one hour-long episode regularly airing at 10PM/ET), depending upon other ABC Family programming. Also, the Tom Bergeron episodes and the Daisy Fuentes/John Fugelsang episodes have all aired on WGN America, and still air to this very day, although WGN mostly shows the Tom Bergeron episodes, which air weeknights at 7PM/ET, with a three-hour block shown on Monday nights. WGN America, however, does not air the 1994-1997 Saget episodes. However, in the Saget/Bergeron episodes on ABC Family and the Saget episodes on Pax after Bob or Tom closes the show, the credits would be displayed in a squeeze credits format due to ABC Family and PAX TV airing promos for movies and original series. The Vin Di Bona Productions logo is still shown at the end of all reruns. Atlantamarker independent station WPCH-TVmarker (channel 17, known as "PeachtreeTV"; formerly the local Atlanta feed of TBS) had aired the entire Saget run from 2007 to September 2009. Since September 2009, YTV in Canada also has aired AFV on Saturday nights. The Tom Bergeron episodes of AFV began airing in off-network syndication starting on September 14, 2009.

Parodies

The show has been subject of parody. It was mentioned in "Weird Al" Yankovic's "I Can't Watch This".

It was also the topic of a Rugrats episode. The show was entitled "America's Wackiest Home Movies", which was also the title of that particular episode from the Nickelodeon cartoon series. The first known winner was "Baby Mud Slinger", where the video consisted of a baby slinging mud and then falling over. Stu was disappointed in this. He and Drew attempted to create their own videos, only to become the "kids" themselves, as their father Lou entered a video of an accident in Stu and Drew's attempts. It wins the first prize.

In the animated comedy series South Park (Episode: Cartman's Mom Is a Dirty Slut) Stan and Kyle send a video of Cartman to America's Stupidest Home Videos, an obvious parody of America's Funniest Home Videos.

On a couple episodes of The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest, the Bob Saget era of this show was parodied as "America's Dumbest Home Videos".

In Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw, a parody of America's Funniest Home Videos is mentioned several times as "America's Funniest Families".

"Pangea's Funniest Home Injuries", a parody of America's Funniest Home Videos, is mentioned in the Dinosaurs episode "The Family Challenge".

DVD Releases

Shout Factory has released numerous compilation releases of America's Funniest Home Videos on DVD in Region 1.

DVD Name Release Date
America's Funniest Home Videos: Animal Antics October 12, 1999
America's Funniest Home Videos: Deluxe Uncensored June 6, 2000
America's Funniest Home Videos: Family Follies June 6, 2000
America's Funniest Home Videos: Volume 1 July 26, 2005
America's Funniest Home Videos: Home For The Holidays October 4, 2005
America's Funniest Home Videos: The Best of Kids and Animals December 27, 2005
America's Funniest Home Videos: Nincompoops & Boneheads June 13, 2006
America's Funniest Home Videos: Athletic Supporters August 1, 2006
America's Funniest Home Videos: Battle of the Best September 12, 2006
America's Funniest Home Videos: Sports Spectacular September 12, 2006
America's Funniest Home Videos: Love and Marriage September 12, 2006
America's Funniest Home Videos: Salute To Romance January 9, 2007
America's Funniest Home Videos: Motherhood Madness April 17, 2007
America's Funniest Home Videos: Guide to Parenting July 17, 2007


See also



References

  1. http://adage.com/mediaworks/article?article_id=131471
  2. http://www.audiencesusa.com/article-35909003.html
  3. http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2009/10/tv-ratings-three-rivers-runs-with-older-viewers-sunday-nfl-wins-night.html
  4. http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/10/05/tv-ratings-sunday-night-football-wins-three-rivers-runs-dry/29463
  5. [1]
  6. http://www.falltvpreview.com/channel.php?id=131


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