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Old 02-24-2020, 05:16 PM   #1
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Default Disney DVD Request: "America's Funniest Home Videos: The Complete First Season"

The following is a letter yours truly wrote to Bob Iger, Chairman/CEO of The Walt Disney Company, earlier this morning.

Dear Mr. Iger,

I have a proposal for Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment: under its ABC Studios banner, it's my humble suggestion that, in celebration of 30 years on the air, that Disney make a deal with SHOUT! Factory for SHOUT! to issue a brand-new DVD compilation, for the first time EVER on DVD, titled "America's Funniest Home Videos: The Complete First Season," all 16 episodes (including the original Hour-Long 1989 Pilot Episode and the Hour-Long 1st-season $100,000 Finale) of Network TV's Longest-Running Prime-Time Game Show "America's Funniest Home Videos" 100% Complete, 100% Uncut, AND 100% Unedited, just the way each episode originally aired on the ABC Television Network.

As I'm sure you know, but in case you don't, "America's Funniest Home Videos" is celebrating 30 years on the air this year, and what better way to celebrate than to issue the entire first season of the show as it began.
The year is 1988. George "Daddy" Bush, age 64, is U.S. President-Elect; the War of the Gulf is in full affect; and rookie TV producer Vin Di Bona (whose Saturday-morning Game Show "Animal Crack-Ups" is on its way off the air) is on vacation in Japan with his then-wife, Gina; during the vacation, Vin caught a glimpse of a Japanese variety show titled "Fun with Kato and Ken," a segment of which featured ordinary Americans sending in their funniest moments caught on film in the hopes of earning the Japanese equivalent of the American dollar. Upon his return to America, Vin decided, with permission from Tokyo Broadcasting Systems, Inc., to turn the segment he saw into his next TV Game Show, eventually naming the show "America's Funniest Home Videos" and soon hiring Bob Saget to host the series' Hour-Long Pilot, which taped in Summer 1989 at Hollywood Center Studios in Los Angeles, California and was telecast on November 26, 1989.

7 weeks later, on January 14, 1990, "America's Funniest Home Videos" began airing weekly every Sunday night at 8 P.M. ET in a Game Show format that's remained unchanged throughout its long run, with 3 Contestants per show competing against each other for a weekly Grand Prize of $10,000 by sending in their funniest moments caught on film.

In addition, the weekly $10,000 Winners competed against each other every 3 months (November, February, and May) starting in Season 2 for an additional $100,000 Grand Prize.

In May 1997, after 8 seasons, Bob Saget stepped down as host of "America's Funniest Home Videos"; he was replaced the following January by former MTV VJ Daisy Fuentes (paired with stand-up comic John Fugelsang); combined with changing timeslots 3 times in a year, Monday nights, Thursday nights and Saturday nights in Spring and Fall 1998, ratings began to slip, and in May 1999, after 10 seasons, ABC cancelled "America's Funniest Home Videos," with the series finale telecast on August 28, 1999 taped at House of Blues in Los Angeles, California. 2 years later, on July 20, 2001, ABC successfully brought back "America's Funniest Home Videos," reviving the show during the Reality TV craze, initially telecast Friday nights at 8 P.M. before moving permanently in September 2003 to Sunday nights at 7 P.M.

Upon the series' revival, TV personality Tom Bergeron (then pulling double Game Show duty as "Hollywood Squares" host) became the series' sole host, a role he maintained until March 2014, when Tom announced he was stepping down as host after 15 years, with his final episode telecast on May 17, 2015, after which Alfonso Ribeiro became the new host--a job he began in October 2015 and is now in his 5th year as host.

"America's Funniest Home Videos" is produced by ABC Entertainment in association with Vin Di Bona Productions.

The series is Distributed by Buena Vista Television.

Tentatively, SHOUT! Factory shall issue "America's Funniest Home Videos: The Complete First Season" on DVD on Tuesday, July 14, 2020 at a cost of just $19.99 wherever DVDs are sold; additionally, 2 Bonus Features shall be included: a Bonus Episode, "The Summit with Saget," telecast on November 29, 2009 (an episode where Bob Saget returned for one night only to co-host a 20-year Retrospective with then-host Tom Bergeron), and a direct-to-DVD featurette, "Vin Di Bona's Funniest Home Videos," where Vin Di Bona presents his 30 all-time favorite viewer-submitted videos.

By March 1990, "America's Funniest Home Videos" was a surprise hit, trumping Angela Lansbury's "Murder, She Wrote" every Sunday night; during this time, Vin Di Bona realized that many of the videos submitted to the show were staged, leading Vin to create a spin-off Game Show titled "America's Funniest People," with Dave Coulier hosting the Pilot, later paired to series with Arleen Sorkin and Tawny Kitaen, respectively; both shows aired during the early '90s as part of an ABC "Videos" hour on Sunday night. There were a few differences between them: on "Videos," the clips were shot by amateurs, and in most cases not staged, while on "People," sequences were purposely staged, with ordinary Americans performing stunts and gags for the camera. Some clips were shot by amateurs (as on "Videos"), while others were taped by Vin Di Bona and his crew. The first 2 seasons of "People" were taped at ABC Television Center in Los Angeles, with Season 3 taped at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida before moving back to Los Angeles for its 4th and last season, Videotaped at Hollywood Center Studios in L.A.

Steve Arino

As duly noted, "America's Funniest Home Videos" is a Tournament Game Show that has its Contestants competing against each other for a weekly Grand Prize of $10,000 by sending in their funniest moments caught on film; its spin-off Game Show, "America's Funniest People," was hosted by Dave Coulier (paired with, respectively, Arleen Sorkin and later Tawny Kitaen), with sequences deliberately staged. "America's Funniest People" lasted 4 years on ABC from May 13, 1990 - August 28, 1994, with the series airing Sunday nights at 8 P.M. ET as part of an ABC "Videos" Hour. The spin-off used the same prize structure as on its parent show: $10,000 for 1st place, $3,000 for 2nd place, and $2,000 for 3rd place. Seasons 1 and 2 of "America's Funniest People" were Videotaped at ABC Television Center in Los Angeles, California, while Season 3 (the first with Tawny Kitaen paired alongside Dave Coulier after Arleen Sorkin was fired) was Videotaped at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida before taping moved permanently to Hollywood Center Studios in L.A.

Since 1995, reruns of "America's Funniest Home Videos" have been shown in Syndication as well as on cable network such as TBS, USA Network, Nickelodeon (as part of its Nick at Nite lineup in 2007) & Hallmark Channel.

"America's Funniest People," likewise, was seen on the Superstation TBS in the early 2000s--specifically in 2002; both shows are produced by ABC Entertainment in association with Vin Di Bona Productions and Distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television Distribution.

The original 1989 Hour-Long Pilot of "America's Funniest Home Videos" was Videotaped at Hollywood Center Studios in Los Angeles, California, after which the weekly series Videotaped Seasons 1-4 at ABC Television Center in Los Angeles before moving to Hollywood Center Studios in Los Angeles for Seasons 5-7 before moving back for Season 8 to ABC Television Center; Seasons 9 and 10 were Videotaped at Raleigh Studios in Los Angeles, California from 1997-1999, with the original Series Finale of "AFV" taped at House of Blues in Los Angeles (owned by Dan Aykroyd) and telecast in 1999.

Since 2001, "AFV" has been Videotaped at Raleigh Studios in Los Angeles after being successfully revived with Tom Bergeron becoming host for 15 years til Alfonso Ribeiro took over as host of "AFV" in 2015.

Personally, and frankly, I would LOVE for "AFV" Season Sets to be issued on DVD, and I believe SHOUT! Factory (on loan from The Walt Disney Company) is a PERFECT Candidate to make the Season DVD sets of "AFV" become real.
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